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United States v. Payner

Significance, Illegal Actions, Federal Courts


United States


Jack Payner

Petitioner's Claim

That although gathered using an illegal search, the evidence against Jack Payner for falsifying a federal income tax return should not be suppressed and the conviction should not be set aside.

Chief Lawyer for Petitioner

Wade H. McCree, U.S. Solicitor General

Chief Lawyer for Respondent

Bennet Kleinman

Justices for the Court

Warren E. Burger, Lewis F. Powell, Jr. (writing for the Court), William H. Rehnquist, John Paul Stevens, Potter Stewart, Byron R. White

Justices Dissenting

Harry A. Blackmun, William J. Brennan, Jr., Thurgood Marshall


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

23 June 1980


Overturned two lower courts' rulings that a federal court could use its supervisory power to exclude evidence seized illegally from a third party.


The refusal to exclude evidence gained through flagrantly illegal means illustrated the majority of the Court's dislike of the exclusionary rule. The early 1980s was a time when the Supreme Court began chipping away at the exclusionary rule, developing many exceptions to its application. Many of the justices wanted the rule abolished. Some members of Congress have proposed abolishing the exclusionary rule in federal court, but this has not yet occurred.

Related Cases

  • Olmstead v. United States, 277 U.S. 438 (1928).
  • Rakas v. Illinois, 439 U.S. 128 (1978).
  • United States v. Caceres, 440 U.S. 741 (1979).

Further Readings

  • Bloom, Robert M. "Judicial Integrity: A Call for Its Re-Emergence in the Adjudication of Criminal Cases." Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, fall 1993, p. 462.
  • Steiker, Carol S. "Counter-Revolution in Constitutional Criminal Procedure? Two Audiences, Two Answers." Michigan Law Review, August 1996, p. 2466.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1973 to 1980