ILLINOIS v. GATES

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Case Basics
Docket No. 
81-430
Petitioner 
Illinois
Respondent 
Gates
Advocates
(Reargued the cause for the petitioner)
(Reargued the cause for the respondents)
(Argued the cause on reargument for the United States as amicus curiae urging reversal)
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Facts of the Case 

The Bloomingdale, Illinois Police Department received an anonymous tip that Lance and Susan Gates were selling drugs out of their home. After observing the Gates's drug smuggling operation in action, police obtained a warrant and upon searching the suspects' car and home uncovered large quantities of marijuana, other contraband, and weapons.

Question 

Did the search of the Gates's home violate the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments?

Conclusion 
Decision: 6 votes for Illinois, 3 vote(s) against
Legal provision: Amendment 4: Fourth Amendment

The Court found no constitutional violation and argued that the lower court misapplied the test for probable cause which the Court had announced in Spinelli v. United States (1969). Justice Rehnquist argued that an informant's veracity, reliability, and basis of knowledge are important in determining probable cause, but that those issues are intertwined and should not be rigidly applied. He argued that the "totality-of-the-circumstances" approach to probable cause was the correct one to glean from Spinelli, and that the law enforcement officials who obtained a warrant abided by it in this case.

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ILLINOIS v. GATES. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 27 November 2014. <http://www.oyez.org/cases/1980-1989/1982/1982_81_430>.
ILLINOIS v. GATES, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1980-1989/1982/1982_81_430 (last visited November 27, 2014).
"ILLINOIS v. GATES," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed November 27, 2014, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1980-1989/1982/1982_81_430.