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US House rejects measure to counter high court 'knock and announce' ruling

[JURIST] The US House of Representatives [official website] has defeated a measure that would have barred the US Justice Department from collecting evidence in violation of the "knock and announce" rule. The House voted 310-109 [roll call] late Wednesday to reject an amendment offered by Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) [official website] in reaction to the US Supreme Court's decision two weeks ago in Hudson v. Michigan [opinion text; JURIST report]. In a 5-4 decision, the court held that evidence collected under a search warrant is admissible in court even when police officers failed to knock before entering a home. Hinchey's amendment to an appropriations bill [HR 5672 summary; PDF text] for the Justice Department and other agencies would have prohibited the use of federal money "in contravention of" the knock-and-announce statute, which requires [18 USC 3109 text] a law enforcement officer to give "notice of his authority and purpose."

Hinchey argued that the knock-and-announce rule is "enshrined in the Constitution" by the Fourth Amendment [text], which forbids unreasonable searches and seizures. The floor manager for the debate, Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) [official website], said it was inappropriate for the House to "overrule" the Supreme Court decision. AP has more.

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