W.D.N.C.: Gant bars search of car trunk

A search of a car trunk incident to arrest is barred by Gant. United States v. Abusnena, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 51605 (W.D. N.C. Mar. 18, 2021). Then there is this observation:

There is perhaps no aspect of American constitutional jurisprudence that is more widely litigated, and which has been and continues to be more frequently defined and redefined, as when a sufficiently exigent circumstance exists justifying an exception to the warrant requirement. Justices and judges alike have written with greater conviction than clarity in applying the Fourth Amendment and attempting to strike the proper equilibrium between the countervailing interests that the Amendment balances: the people’s interest in effective enforcement of the laws enacted by their representatives versus the people’s interest in avoiding unwarranted intrusions into their privacy. The result is that in many cases the facts are such that several of the exceptions are potentially in play, and the exceptions and their justifications (and the cases describing them) may both overlap and cut against each other, creating an analytical thicket that is extraordinarily difficult for law-enforcement officers and citizens (as well as the lawyers working with and for them) to understand.

This is such a case. The relevant facts and precedents both controlling and persuasive on this court, as described below, permit a relatively-straightforward path through the constitutional thicket, but they also raise considerations that potentially complicate the analysis. The court will first address the straightforward aspect of the analysis, which the court concludes controls the disposition of Defendant’s motion, and will then discuss some of the potentially-complicating considerations raised by Defendant, which the court ultimately concludes do not.

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