In 1976, the Supreme Court decided United States v. Martinez-Fuerte, a case that examined “fixed, interior checkpoints” set up by Customs and Border Protection. At question was whether these checkpoints violated the Fourth Amendment and, specifically, if CBP asking about citizenship at these checkpoints violated the constitutional rights of individuals. The Court ruled 7-2 that the checkpoints and questioning were constitutional. Looking at this case more than 40 years later, was the Court correct in its decision?

Matthew Feeney of the Cato Institute explains the case and the statutes that allow CBP to operate up to 100 miles from the border--and the arguments for and against--in this Landmark Edition of SCOTUSbrief.

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As always, the Federalist Society takes no position on particular legal or public policy issues; all expressions of opinion are those of the speaker.

Learn more about Matthew Feeney:

Follow Matthew on Twitter: @M_feeney

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Related Links & Differing Views:

Wikipedia: “United States v. Martinez-Fuerte

Oyez:: “United States v. Martinez-Fuerte

CBP: “Overview”

ACLU: “U.S. Border Patrol Interior Checkpoints: Frequently Asked Questions”

CATO: “Criminal Justice at a Crossroads: Panel 3: Criminal Justice and the Border”

Congressional Research Service: “Border Security: The Role of the U.S. Border Patrol”

Just Security: “Congress Tackles the ‘100-Mile’ Border Zone for Federal Checkpoints”

Customs and Border Protection: “Human Trafficking”

National Review: “When Border Searches Become Unreasonable”