Dow Chemical Co. v. United States

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Dow Chemical Co. v. United States
Seal of the United States Supreme Court
Argued December 10, 1985
Decided May 19, 1986
Full case nameDow Chemical Company v. United States
Citations476 U.S. 227 (more)
106 S. Ct. 1819; 90 L. Ed. 2d 226
ArgumentOral argument
Case history
PriorSummary judgment for plaintiff, 536 F. Supp. 1355 (E.D. Mich. 1982); reversed on appeal, 749 F.2d 307 (6th Cir. 1984); cert. granted, 472 U.S. 1007 (1985).
Holding
The Fourth Amendment protects against the invasion of areas where intimate activities occur, whereas "the open areas of an industrial complex are more comparable to an 'open field' in which an individual may not legitimately demand privacy."
Court membership
Chief Justice
Warren E. Burger
Associate Justices
William J. Brennan Jr. · Byron White
Thurgood Marshall · Harry Blackmun
Lewis F. Powell Jr. · William Rehnquist
John P. Stevens · Sandra Day O'Connor
Case opinions
MajorityBurger, joined by White, Rehnquist, Stevens, O'Connor
Concur/dissentPowell (concur Part III, dissent Parts I-II), joined by Brennan, Marshall, Blackmun
Laws applied
U.S. Const. amend. IV

Dow Chemical Co. v. United States, 476 U.S. 227 (1986), was a United States Supreme Court case decided in 1986 dealing with the right to privacy and advanced technology of aerial surveillance.

Factual background and decision[edit]

The EPA used, without a warrant, a commercial aerial photographer to get photographs of a heavily guarded Dow facility that was, according to the petitioner, protected by the State Trade Secrecy Law. The decision: For purposes of aerial surveillance, the open areas of an industrial complex are more comparable to an "open field" in which an individual may not legitimately demand privacy. [1] In the absence of a "reasonable expectation of privacy" the Fourth Amendment prohibiting unreasonable searches does not apply.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Oliver v. United States, 466 U. S. 170

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]