Can Border Agents Search a Gas Tank?

This has not been an encouraging year at the US Supreme Court for those advocating the privacy rights of passengers and drivers in motor vehicles.

The justices ruled 9 to 0 in December that police are justified in arresting everyone in a car when narcotics are discovered and no one admits to ownership of the drugs. And in a 6-3 ruling last month, the high court endorsed police use of random roadblocks to help locate witnesses to an unsolved hit and run accident.

Wednesday, the justices are set to hear arguments in yet another case involving a driver claiming Fourth Amendment protections. At issue in US v. Manuel Flores-Montano is whether agents manning a US border station may order the disassembly of a gas tank even when the agents do not have reasonable suspicion to believe it contains contraband.

Details here from the Christian Science Monitor.