NAT. TREAS. EMPLOYEES UNION v. VON RAAB

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Case Basics
Docket No. 
86-1879
Petitioner 
Nat. Treas. Employees Union
Respondent 
Von Raab
Advocates
(on behalf of the Respondent)
(on behalf of the Petitioners)
Tags
Term:
Facts of the Case 

In 1986, the United States Customs Service implemented a drug testing program for certain employees who either carry firearms, are involved in intercepting drugs as they enter the country, or are in high level positions involving classified information.

Question 

Did the regulations violate the Fourth Amendment?

Conclusion 
Decision: 5 votes for Von Raab, 4 vote(s) against
Legal provision: Amendment 4: Fourth Amendment

No. The Court held that the "substantial interests" of the government in stifling the drug trade justified "departure from the ordinary warrant and probable cause requirements" associated with searches. The fact that customs personnel are the country's "first line of defense" against drug smugglers and they are exposed to a sometimes aggressive criminal element, places them in a unique and important position in which they have a "diminished expectation of privacy."

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NAT. TREAS. EMPLOYEES UNION v. VON RAAB. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 31 August 2014. <http://www.oyez.org/cases/1980-1989/1988/1988_86_1879>.
NAT. TREAS. EMPLOYEES UNION v. VON RAAB, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1980-1989/1988/1988_86_1879 (last visited August 31, 2014).
"NAT. TREAS. EMPLOYEES UNION v. VON RAAB," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed August 31, 2014, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1980-1989/1988/1988_86_1879.