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Louisiana Frisk Law Declared Unconstitutional

May 29, 1986

NEW ORLEANS (AP) _ A 1983 state law that had allowed police to frisk bar customers for weapons was declared unconstitutional Wednesday by U.S. Magistrate Michaelle P. Wynne.

Wynne agreed with the American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana, which filed suit in November 1983, that the law violates the Fourth Amendment constitutional rights of bar patrons to freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures.

She said the law, which authorizes searches without a court-ordered warrant, did not fall within any recognized exceptions to the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition against unreasonable searches.

Such exceptions include searches at airports, border crossings and courthouses.

Wynn issued a permanent injunction forbidding Louisiana authorities to enforce the law, which was passed by the Legislature to reduce barroom violence.

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