"Exterior of the Jerry Falwell Library at Liberty University" by PCHS-NJROTC / CC BY-SA 4.0

A (Real) Military Trial Took Place at Liberty U., With Students as Lawyers

Feb 25, 2020

By Hemant Mehta

Not long ago, a military dog noticed the scent of drugs coming out of the dorm room of a man in the Air Force. When officers investigated, the dog signaled to its handlers that the drugs were on the airman… but nothing was found on his body, or in his belongings, or in the room itself. A military magistrate ordered the man to submit a urine sample, which was then analyzed. It tested positive for cocaine.

But there’s a serious legal issue here: Was the urinalysis done without probable cause? In other words, was it an illegal violation of the airman’s Fourth Amendment rights?

The officer filed a lawsuit… and lost. He then appealed the decision to the Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals (AFCCA), where his case was heard last Thursday. The big takeaway here is that this is a serious case involving the U.S. military and the Constitution.

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