Open main menu
Court Documents
Case Syllabus
Opinion of the Court
Concurring Opinion
Blackmun
Dissenting Opinions
White
Rehnquist

Mr. Justice White, with whom the Chief Justice and Mr. Justice Rehnquist join, dissenting.

The Court today holds that absent exigent circumstances officers may never enter a home during the daytime to arrest for a dangerous felony unless they have first obtained a warrant. This hard-and-fast rule, founded on erroneous assumptions concerning the intrusiveness of home arrest entries, finds little or no support in the common law or in the text and history of the Fourth Amendment. I respectfully dissent.

IEdit

As the Court notes, ante, at 591, the common law of searches and seizures, as evolved in England, as transported to the Colonies, and as developed among the States, is highly relevant to the present scope of the Fourth Amendment. United States v. Watson, 423 U.S. 411, 418-422 (1976); id., at 425, 429 (Powell, J., concurring); Gerstein v. Pugh, 420 U.S. 103, 111, 114 (1975); Carroll v. United States, 267 U.S. 132, 149-153 (1925); Bad Elk v. United States, 177 U.S. 529, 534-535 (1900); Boyd v. United States, 116 U.S. 616, 622-630 (1886); Kurtz v. Moffitt, 115 U.S. 487, 498-499 (1885). Today's decision virtually ignores these centuries of common-law development, and distorts the historical meaning of the Fourth Amendment, by proclaiming for the first time a rigid warrant requirement for all nonexigent home arrest entries.

AEdit

As early as the 15th century the common law had limited the Crown's power to invade a private dwelling in order to arrest. A Year Book case of 1455 held that in civil cases the sheriff could not break doors to arrest for debt or trespass, for the arrest was then only in the private interests of a party. Y. B. 13 Edw. IV, 9a. To the same effect is Semayne's Case, 5 Co. Rep. 91a, 77 Eng. Rep. 194 (K. B. 1603). The holdings of these cases were condensed in the maxim that "every man's house is his castle." H. Broom, Legal Maxims *321-*329.

However, this limitation on the Crown's power applied only to private civil actions. In cases directly involving the Crown, the rule was that "[t]he king's keys unlock all doors." Wilgus, Arrest Without a Warrant, 22 Mich. L. Rev. 798, 800 (1924). The Year Book case cited above stated a different rule for criminal cases: for a felony, or suspicion of felony, one may break into the dwelling house to take the felon, for it is for the common weal and to the interest of the King to take him. Likewise, Semayne's Case stated in dictum:

"In all cases when the King is party, the Sheriff (if the doors be not open) may break the party's house, either to arrest him, or to do other execution of the K[ing]'s process, if otherwise he cannot enter." 5 Co. Rep., at 91b, 77 Eng. Rep., at 195.

Although these cases established the Crown's power to enter a dwelling in criminal cases, they did not directly address the question of whether a constable could break doors to arrest without authorization by a warrant. At common law, the constable's office was twofold. As conservator of the peace, he possessed, virtute officii, a "great original and inherent authority with regard to arrests," 4 W. Blackstone, Commentaries *292 (hereinafter Blackstone), and could "without any other warrant but from [himself] arrest felons, and those that [were] probably suspected of felonies," 2 M. Hale, Pleas of the Crown 85 (1736) (hereinafter Hale); see United States v. Watson, supra, at 418-419. Second, as a subordinate public official, the constable performed ministerial tasks under the authorization and direction of superior officers. See 1 R. Burn, The Justice of the Peace and Parish Officer 295 (6th ed. 1758) (hereinafter Burn); 2 W. Hawkins, Pleas of the Crown 130-132 (6th ed. 1787) (hereinafter Hawkins). It was in this capacity that the constable executed warrants issued by justices of the peace. The warrant authorized the constable to take action beyond his inherent powers.[1] It also ensured that he actually carried out his instructions, by giving him clear notice of his duty, for the breach of which he could be punished, 4 Blackstone *291; 1 Burn 295; 2 Hale 88, and by relieving him from civil liability even if probable cause to arrest were lacking, 4 Blackstone *291; 1 Burn 295-296; M. Dalton, The Country Justice 579 (1727 ed.) (hereinafter Dalton); 2 Hawkins 132-133. For this reason, warrants were sometimes issued even when the act commanded was within the constable's inherent authority. Dalton 576.

As the Court notes, commentators have differed as to the scope of the constable's inherent authority, when not acting under a warrant, to break doors in order to arrest. Probably the majority of commentators would permit arrest entries on probable suspicion even if the person arrested were not in fact guilty. 4 Blackstone *292; 1 Burn 87-88;[2] 1 J. Chitty, Criminal Law 23 (1816) (hereinafter Chitty); Dalton 426; 1 Hale 583; 2 id., at 90-94. These authors, in short, would have permitted the type of home arrest entries that occurred in the present cases. The inclusion of Blackstone in this list is particularly significant in light of his profound impact on the minds of the colonists at the time of the framing of the Constitution and the ratification of the Bill of Rights.

A second school of thought, on which the Court relies, held that the constable could not break doors on mere "bare suspicion." M. Foster, Crown Law 321 (1762); 2 Hawkins 139; 1 E. East, Pleas of the Crown 321-322 (1806); 1 W. Russell, Treatise on Crimes and Misdemeanors 745 (1819) (hereinafter Russell). Cf. 4 E. Coke, Institutes *177. Although this doctrine imposed somewhat greater limitations on the constable's inherent power, it does not support the Court's hard-and-fast rule against warrantless nonexigent home entries upon probable cause. East and Russell state explicitly what Foster and Hawkins imply: although mere "bare suspicion" will not justify breaking doors, the constable's action would be justifiable if the person arrested were in fact guilty of a felony. These authorities can be read as imposing a somewhat more stringent requirement of probable cause for arrests in the home than for arrests elsewhere. But they would not bar nonexigent, warrantless home arrests in all circumstances, as the Court does today. And Coke is flatly contrary to the Court's rule requiring a warrant, since he believed that even a warrant would not justify an arrest entry until the suspect had been indicted.

Finally, it bears nothing that the doctrine against home entries on bare suspicion developed in a period in which the validity of any arrest on bare suspicion--even one occurring outside the home--was open to question. Not until Lord Mansfield's decision in Samuel v. Payne, 1 Doug. 359, 99 Eng. Rep. 230 (K. B. 1780), was it definitively established that the constable could arrest on suspicion even if it turned out that no felony had been committed. To the extent that the commentators relied on by the Court reasoned from any general rule against warrantless arrests based on bare suspicion, the rationale for their position did not survive Samuel v. Payne.

BEdit

The history of the Fourth Amendment does not support the rule announced today. At the time that Amendment was adopted the constable possessed broad inherent powers to arrest. The limitations on those powers derived, not from a warrant "requirement," but from the generally ministerial nature of the constable's office at common law. Far from restricting the constable's arrest power, the institution of the warrant was used to expand that authority by giving the constable delegated powers of a superior officer such as a justice of the peace. Hence at the time of the Bill of Rights, the warrant functioned as a powerful tool of law enforcement rather than as a protection for the rights of criminal suspects.

In fact, it was the abusive use of the warrant power, rather than any excessive zeal in the discharge of peace officers' inherent authority, that precipitated the Fourth Amendment. That Amendment grew out of colonial opposition to the infamous general warrants known as writs of assistance, which empowered customs officers to search at will, and to break open receptacles or packages, wherever they suspected uncustomed goods to be. United States v. Chadwick, 433 U.S. 1, 7-8 (1977); N. Lasson, The History and Development of the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution 51-78 (1937) (hereinafter Lasson). The writs did not specify where searches could occur and they remained effective throughout the sovereign's lifetime. Id., at 54. In effect, the writs placed complete discretion in the hands of executing officials. Customs searches of this type were beyond the inherent power of common-law officials and were the subject of court suits when performed by colonial customs agents not acting pursuant to a writ. Id., at 55.

The common law was the colonists' ally in their struggle against writs of assistance. Hale and Blackstone had condemned general warrants, 1 Hale 580; 4 Blackstone *291, and fresh in the colonists' minds were decisions granting recovery to parties arrested or searched under general warrants on suspicion of seditious libel. Entick v. Carrington, 19 How. St. Tr. 1029, 95 Eng. Rep. 807 (K. B. 1765); Huckle v. Money, 2 Wils. 205, 95 Eng. Rep. 768 (K. B. 1763); Wilkes v. Wood, 19 How. St. Tr. 1153, 98 Eng. Rep. 489 (K. B. 1763). When James Otis, Jr., delivered his courtroom oration against writs of assistance in 1761, he looked to the common law in asserting that the writs, if not construed specially, were void as a form of general warrant. 2 Legal Papers of John Adams 139-144 (L. Wroth & H. Zobel eds. 1965).[3]

Given the colonists' high regard for the common law, it is indeed unlikely that the Framers of the Fourth Amendment intended to derogate from the constable's inherent commonlaw authority. Such an argument was rejected in the important early case of Rohan v. Sawin, 59 Mass. 281, 284-285 (1851):

"It has been sometimes contended, that an arrest of this character, without a warrant, was a violation of the great fundamental principles of our national and state constitutions, forbidding unreasonable searches and arrests, except by warrant founded upon a complaint made under oath. Those provisions doubtless had another and different purpose, being in restraint of general warrants to make searches, and requiring warrants to issue only upon a complaint made under oath. They do not conflict with the authority of constables or other peace-officers...to arrest without warrant those who have committed felonies. The public safety, and the due apprehension of criminals, charged with heinous offences, imperiously require that such arrests should be made without warrant by officers of the law."[4]

That the Framers were concerned about warrants, and not about the constable's inherent power to arrest, is also evident from the text and legislative history of the Fourth Amendment. That provision first reaffirms the basic principle of common law, that "[t]he right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated...." The Amendment does not here purport to limit or restrict the peace officer's inherent power to arrest or search, but rather assumes an existing right against actions in excess of that inherent power and ensures that it remain inviolable. As I have noted, it was not generally considered "unreasonable" at common law for officers to break doors in making warrantless felony arrests. The Amendment's second clause is directed at the actions of officers taken in their ministerial capacity pursuant to writs of assistance and other warrants. In contrast to the first Clause, the second Clause does purport to alter colonial practice: "and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

That the Fourth Amendment was directed towards safeguarding the rights at common law, and restricting the warrant practice which gave officers vast new powers beyond their inherent authority, is evident from the legislative history of that provision. As originally drafted by James Madison, it was directed only at warrants; so deeply ingrained was the basic common-law premise that it was not even expressed:

"The rights of the people to be secured in their persons[,] their houses, their papers, and their other property, from all unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated by warrants issued without probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, or not particularly describing the places to be searched, or the persons or things to be seized." 1 Annals of Cong. 452 (1789).

The Committee of Eleven reported the provision as follows:

"The right of the people to be secured in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, shall not be violated by warrants issuing without probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and not particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." Id., at 783.

The present language was adopted virtually at the last moment by the Committee of Three, which had been appointed only to arrange the Amendments rather than to make substantive changes in them. Lasson 101. The Amendment passed the House; but "the House seems never to have consciously agreed to the Amendment in its present form." Ibid. In any event, because the sanctity of the common-law protections was assumed from the start, it is evident that the change made by the Committee of Three was a cautionary measure without substantive content.

In sum, the background, text, and legislative history of the Fourth Amendment demonstrate that the purpose was to restrict the abuses that had developed with respect to warrants; the Amendment preserved common-law rules of arrest. Because it was not considered generally unreasonable at common law for officers to break doors to effect a warrantless felony arrest, I do not believe that the Fourth Amendment was intended to outlaw the types of police conduct at issue in the present cases.

CEdit

Probably because warrantless arrest entries were so firmly accepted at common law, there is apparently no recorded constitutional challenge to such entries in the 19th-century cases. Common-law authorities on both sides of the Atlantic, however, continued to endorse the validity of such arrests. E. g., 1 J. Bishop, Commentaries on the Law of Criminal Procedure §§ 195-199 (2d ed. 1872); 1 Chitty 23; 1 J. Colby, A Practical Treatise upon the Criminal Law and Practice of the State of New York 73-74 (1868); F. Heard, A Practical Treatise on the Authority and Duties of Trial Justices, District, Police, and Municipal Courts, in Criminal Cases 135, 148 (1879); 1 Russell 745. Like their predecessors, these authorities conflicted as to whether the officer would be liable in damages if it were shown that the person arrested was not guilty of a felony. But all agreed that warrantless home entries would be permissible in at least some circumstances. None endorsed the rule of today's decision that a warrant is always required, absent exigent circumstances, to effect a home arrest.

Apparently the first official pronouncement on the validity of warrantless home arrests came with the adoption of state codes of criminal procedure in the latter 19th and early 20th centuries. The great majority of these codes accepted and endorsed the inherent authority of peace officers to enter dwellings in order to arrest felons. By 1931, 24 of 29 state codes authorized such warrantless arrest entries.[5] By 1975, 31 of 37 state codes authorized warrantless home felony arrests.[6] The American Law Institute included such authority in its model legislation in 1931 and again in 1975.[7]

The first direct judicial holding on the subject of warrantless home arrests seems to have been Commonwealth v. Phelps, 209 Mass. 396, 95 N.E. 868 (1911). The holding in this case that such entries were constitutional became the settled rule in the States for much of the rest of the century. See Wilgus, Arrest Without a Warrant, 22 Mich. L. Rev. 798, 803 (1924). Opinions of this Court also assumed that such arrests were constitutional.[8]

This Court apparently first questioned the reasonableness of warrantless nonexigent entries to arrest in Jones v. United States, 357 U.S. 493, 499-500 (1958), noting in dictum that such entries would pose a "grave constitutional question" if carried out at night.[9] In Coolidge v. New Hampshire, 403 U.S. 443, 480 (1971), the Court stated, again in dictum:

"[I]f [it] is correct that it has generally been assumed that the Fourth Amendment is not violated by the warrantless entry of a man's house for purposes of arrest, it might be wise to re-examine the assumption. Such a re-examination `would confront us with a grave constitutional question, namely, whether the forcible nighttime entry into a dwelling to arrest a person reasonably believed within, upon probable cause that he had committed a felony, under circumstances where no reason appears why an arrest warrant could not have been sought, is consistent with the Fourth Amendment.' Jones v. United States, 357 U.S., at 499-500."

Although Coolidge and Jones both referred to the special problem of warrantless entries during the nighttime,[10] it is not surprising that state and federal courts have tended to read those dicta as suggesting a broader infirmity applying to daytime entries also, and that the majority of recent decisions have been against the constitutionality of all types of warrantless, nonexigent home arrest entries. As the Court concedes, however, even despite Coolidge and Jones it remains the case that

"[a] majority of the States that have taken a position on the question permit warrantless entry into the home to arrest even in the absence of exigent circumstances. At this time, 24 States permit such warrantless entries; 15 States clearly prohibit them, though 3 States do so on federal constitutional grounds alone; and 11 States have apparently taken no position on the question." Ante, at 598-599 (footnotes omitted).

This consensus, in the face of seemingly contrary dicta from this Court, is entitled to more deference than the Court today provides. Cf. United States v. Watson, 423 U.S. 411 (1976).

DEdit

In the present cases, as in Watson, the applicable federal statutes are relevant to the reasonableness of the type of arrest in question. Under 18 U.S.C. § 3052, specified federal agents may "make arrests without warrants for any offense against the United States committed in their presence, or for any felony cognizable under the laws of the United States, if they have reasonable grounds to believe that the person to be arrested has committed or is committing such felony." On its face this provision authorizes federal agents to make warrantless arrests anywhere, including the home. Particularly in light of the accepted rule at common law and among the States permitting warrantless home arrests, the absence of any explicit exception for the home from § 3052 is persuasive evidence that Congress intended to authorize warrantless arrests there a well as elsewhere.

Further, Congress has not been unaware of the special problems involved in police entries into the home. In 18 U.S.C. § 3109, it provided that

"[t]he officer may break open any outer or inner door or window of a house, or any part of a house, or anything therein, to execute a search warrant, if, after notice of his authority and purpose, he is refused admittance...."

See Miller v. United States, 357 U.S. 301 (1958). In explicitly providing authority to enter when executing a search warrant, Congress surely did not intend to derogate from the officers' power to effect an arrest entry either with or without a warrant. Rather, Congress apparently assumed that this power was so firmly established either at common law or by statute that no explicit grant of arrest authority was required in § 3109. In short, although the Court purports to find no guidance in the relevant federal statutes, I believe that fairly read they authorize the type of police conduct at issue in these cases.

IIEdit

AEdit

Today's decision rests, in large measure, on the premise that warrantless arrest entries constitute a particularly severe invasion of personal privacy. I do not dispute that the home is generally a very private area or that the common law displayed a special "reverence...for the individual's right of privacy in his house." Miller v. United States, supra, at 313. However, the Fourth Amendment is concerned with protecting people, not places, and no talismanic significance is given to the fact that an arrest occurs in the home rather than elsewhere. Cf. Ybarra v. Illinois, 444 U.S. 85 (1979); Katz v. United States, 389 U.S. 347, 351 (1967); Boyd v. United States, 116 U.S., at 630. It is necessary in each case to assess realistically the actual extent of invasion of constitutionally protected privacy. Further, as Mr. Justice Powell observed in United States v. Watson, supra, at 428 (concurring opinion), all arrests involve serious intrusions into an individual's privacy and dignity. Yet we settled in Watson that the intrusiveness of a public arrest is not enough to mandate the obtaining of a warrant. The inquiry in the present case, therefore, is whether the incremental intrusiveness that results from an arrest's being made in the dwelling is enough to support an inflexible constitutional rule requiring warrants for such arrests whenever exigent circumstances are not present.

Today's decision ignores the carefully crafted restrictions on the common-law power of arrest entry and thereby overestimates the dangers inherent in that practice. At common law, absent exigent circumstances, entries to arrest could be made only for felony. Even in cases of felony, the officers were required to announce their presence, demand admission, and be refused entry before they were entitled to break doors.[11] Further, it seems generally accepted that entries could be made only during daylight hours.[12] And, in my view, the officer entering to arrest must have reasonable grounds to believe, not only that the arrestee has committed a crime, but also that the person suspected is present in the house at the time of the entry.[13]

These four restrictions on home arrests--felony, knock and announce, daytime, and stringent probable cause--constitute powerful and complementary protections for the privacy interests associated with the home. The felony requirement guards against abusive or arbitrary enforcement and ensures that invasions of the home occur only in case of the most serious crimes. The knock-and-announce and daytime requirements protect individuals against the fear, humiliation, and embarrassment of being roused from their beds in states of partial or complete undress. And these requirements allow the arrestee to surrender at his front door, thereby maintaining his dignity and preventing the officers from entering other rooms of the dwelling. The stringent probable-cause requirement would help ensure against the possibility that the police would enter when the suspect was not home, and, in searching for him, frighten members of the family or ransack parts of the house, seizing items in plain view. In short, these requirements, taken together, permit an individual suspected of a serious crime to surrender at the front door of his dwelling and thereby avoid most of the humiliation and indignity that the Court seems to believe necessarily accompany a house arrest entry. Such a front-door arrest, in my view, is no more intrusive on personal privacy than the public warrantless arrests which we found to pass constitutional muster in Watson.[14]

All of these limitations on warrantless arrest entries are satisfied on the facts of the present cases. The arrests here were for serious felonies--murder and armed robbery--and both occurred during daylight hours. The authorizing statutes required that the police announce their business and demand entry; neither Payton nor Riddick makes any contention that these statutory requirements were not fulfilled. And it is not argued that the police had no probable cause to believe that both Payton and Riddick were in their dwellings at the time of the entries. Today's decision, therefore, sweeps away any possibility that warrantless home entries might be permitted in some limited situations other than those in which exigent circumstances are present. The Court substitutes, in one sweeping decision, a rigid constitutional rule in place of the common-law approach, evolved over hundreds of years, which achieved a flexible accommodation between the demands of personal privacy and the legitimate needs of law enforcement.

A rule permitting warrantless arrest entries would not pose a danger that officers would use their entry power as a pretext to justify an otherwise invalid warrantless search. A search pursuant to a warrantless arrest entry will rarely, if ever, be as complete as one under authority of a search warrant. If the suspect surrenders at the door, the officers may not enter other rooms. Of course, the suspect may flee or hide, or may not be at home, but the officers cannot anticipate the first two of these possibilities and the last is unlikely given the requirement of probable cause to believe that the suspect is at home. Even when officers are justified in searching other rooms, they may seize only items within the arrestee's possession or immediate control or items in plain view discovered during the course of a search reasonably directed at discovering a hiding suspect. Hence a warrantless home entry is likely to uncover far less evidence than a search conducted under authority of a search warrant. Furthermore, an arrest entry will inevitably tip off the suspects and likely result in destruction or removal of evidence not uncovered during the arrest. I therefore cannot believe that the police would take the risk of losing valuable evidence through a pretextual arrest entry rather than applying to a magistrate for a search warrant.

BEdit

While exaggerating the invasion of personal privacy involved in home arrests, the Court fails to account for the danger that its rule will "severely hamper effective law enforcement," United States v. Watson, 423 U.S., at 431 (Powell, J., concurring); Gerstein v. Pugh, 420 U.S., at 113. The policeman on his beat must now make subtle discriminations that perplex even judges in their chambers. As Mr. Justice Powell noted, concurring in United States v. Watson, supra, police will sometimes delay making an arrest, even after probable cause is established, in order to be sure that they have enough evidence to convict. Then, if they suddenly have to arrest, they run the risk that the subsequent exigency will not excuse their prior failure to obtain a warrant. This problem cannot effectively be cured by obtaining a warrant as soon as probable cause is established because of the chance that the warrant will go state before the arrest is made.

Further, police officers will often face the difficult task of deciding whether the circumstances are sufficiently exigent to justify their entry to arrest without a warrant. This is a decision that must be made quickly in the most trying of circumstances. If the officers mistakenly decide that the circumstances are exigent, the arrest will be invalid and any evidence seized incident to the arrest or in plain view will be excluded at trial. On the other hand, if the officers mistakenly determine that exigent circumstances are lacking, they may refrain from making the arrest, thus creating the possibility that a dangerous criminal will escape into the community. The police could reduce the likelihood of escape by staking out all possible exits until the circumstances become clearly exigent or a warrant is obtained. But the costs of such a stakeout seem excessive in an era of rising crime and scarce police resources.

The uncertainty inherent in the exigent-circumstances determination burdens the judicial system as well. In the case of searches, exigent circumstances are sufficiently unusual that this Court has determined that the benefits of a warrant outweigh the burdens imposed, including the burdens on the judicial system. In contrast, arrests recurringly involve exigent circumstances, and this Court has heretofore held that a warrant can be dispensed with without undue sacrifice in Fourth Amendment values. The situation should be no different with respect to arrests in the home. Under today's decision, whenever the police have made a warrantless home arrest there will be the possibility of "endless litigation with respect to the existence of exigent circumstances, whether it was practicable to get a warrant, whether the suspect was about to flee, and the like," United States v. Watson, supra, at 423-424.

Our cases establish that the ultimate test under the Fourth Amendment is one of "reasonableness." Marshall v. Barlow's, Inc., 436 U.S. 307, 315-316 (1978); Camara v. Municipal Court, 387 U.S. 523, 539 (1967). I cannot join the Court in declaring unreasonable a practice which has been thought entirely reasonable by so many for so long. It would be far preferable to adopt a clear and simple rule: after knocking and announcing their presence, police may enter the home to make a daytime arrest without a warrant when there is probable cause to believe that the person to be arrested committed a felony and is present in the house. This rule would best comport with the common-law background, with the traditional practice in the States, and with the history and policies of the Fourth Amendment. Accordingly, I respectfully dissent.

NotesEdit

^ . For example, a constable could arrest for breaches of the peace committed outside his presence only under authority of a warrant. Bad Elk v. United States, 177 U.S. 529, 534-535 (1900); 1 Burn 294; 2 Hale 90; 2 Hawkins 130.

^ . The Court cites Burn for the proposition that home arrests on mere suspicion are invalid. Ante, at 595, n. 38. In fact, Burn appears to be of the opposite view. Burn contrasts the case of arrests by private citizens, which cannot be justified unless the person arrested was actually guilty of felony, with that of arrests by constables:

"But a constable in such case may justify, and the reason of the difference is this: because that in the former case it is but a thing permitted to private persons to arrest for suspicion, and they are not punishable if they omit it, and therefore they cannot break open doors; but in case of a constable, he is punishable if he omit it upon complaint." 1 Burn 87-88 (emphasis in original).

Burn apparently refers to a constable's duty to act without a warrant on complaint of a citizen.

^ . The Court cites Pitt's March 1763 oration in the House of Commons as indicating an "overriding respect for the sanctity of the home." Ante, at 601, and n. 54. But this speech was in opposition to a proposed excise tax on cider. 15 Parliamentary History of England 1307 (1813). Nothing in it remotely suggests that Pitt objected to the constable's traditional power of warrantless entry into dwellings to arrest for felony.

^ . See also North v. People, 139 Ill. 81, 105, 28 N.E. 966, 972 (1891) (Warrant Clause "does not abridge the right to arrest without warrant, in cases where such arrest could be lawfully made at common law before the adoption of the present constitution"); Wakely v. Hart, 6 Binn. 316, 319 (Pa. 1814) (rules permitting arrest without a warrant are "principles of the common law, essential to the welfare of society, and not intended to be altered or impaired by the constitution. The whole section indeed was nothing more than an affirmance of the common law...").

^ . American Law Institute, Code of Criminal Procedure 254-255 (Off. Draft 1931) (hereinafter Code).

^ . American Law Institute, A Model Code of Pre-Arraignment Procedure App. XI (Prop. Off. Draft 1975) (hereinafter Model Code).

^ . Code §§ 21, 28; Model Code § 120.6 (1).

^ . See Johnson v. United States, 333 U.S. 10, 15 (1948) (stating in dictum that officers could have entered hotel room without a warrant in order to make an arrest "for a crime committed in the presence of the arresting officer or for a felony of which he had reasonable cause to believe defendant guilty") (footnote omitted); Ker v. California, 374 U.S. 23, 38 (1963) (plurality opinion); Sabbath v. United States, 391 U.S. 585, 588 (1968).

^ . One Court of Appeals had previously held such entries unconstitutional. Accarino v. United States, 85 U. S. App. D. C. 394, 179 F.2d 456 (1949).

^ . As I discuss infra, there may well be greater constitutional problems with nighttime entries.

^ . Miller v. United States, 357 U.S. 301, 308 (1958); Semayne's Case, 5 Co. Rep. 91a, 77 Eng. Rep. 194 (K. B. 1603); Dalton 427; 2 Hale 90; 2 Hawkins 138.

^ . Model Code § 120.6 (3). Cf. Jones v. United States, 357 U.S. 493, 499-500 (1958); Coolidge v. New Hampshire, 403 U.S. 443, 480 (1971).

^ . I do not necessarily disagree with the Court's discussion of the quantum of probable cause necessary to make a valid home arrest. The Court indicates that only an arrest warrant, and not a search warrant, is required. Ante, at 602-603. To obtain the warrant, therefore, the officers need only show probable cause that a crime has been committed and that the suspect committed it. However, under today's decision, the officers apparently need an extra increment of probable cause when executing the arrest warrant, namely, grounds to believe that the suspect is within the dwelling. Ibid.

^ . If the suspect flees or hides, of course, the intrusiveness of the entry will be somewhat greater; but the policeman's hands should not be tied merely because of the possibility that the suspect will fail to cooperate with legitimate actions by law enforcement personnel.