Byrd v. United States

Brief of the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers as Amici Curiae in Support of Petitioner.

Brief filed: 11/20/2017


Byrd v. United States

United States Supreme Court; Case No. 16-1371

Prior Decision

Decision below 679 Fed.Appx. 146 (3rd Cir. Feb. 10, 2017 (filed)).


The Fourth Amendment applies to the search of a rental car operated by an individual with express authorization to operate the vehicle. The Fourth Amendment applies to petitioner because he had a property interest in the rental vehicle at common law. The officers’ search intruded upon petitioner’s reasonable expectation of privacy. The ruling below disproportionately harms low-income individuals and people of color. The ruling below restricts Fourth Amendment protections for a ubiquitous part of the economy that is critically important to low-income individuals. The ruling below disproportionately harms people of color, who are more likely to be pulled over by police while driving and to be searched after being pulled over. 

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Jeffrey T. Green and Michael B. Buschbacher, Sidley Austin LLP, Washington, DC; Joshua L. Dratel, NACDL, New York, NY.