Are there any Supreme Court decisions that have changed Rochin v California and the "shock the conscience" test?I found this case when I was researching my previous question. It was about the...

Are there any Supreme Court decisions that have changed Rochin v California and the "shock the conscience" test?

I found this case when I was researching my previous question. It was about the officer who forced his finger down the throat to make the suspect vomit and finds a balloon of herion.

Asked on by rodsjet

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pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

If you are asking whether Rochin has ever been overturned or significantly altered, the answer is that it has not.  However, the "shocks the conscience" test is no longer used because subsequent cases have made it unnecessary.

At the time that Rochin was decided, the Bill of Rights had, for the most part, not been incorporated.  Therefore, states did not need to respect the rights that were spelled out in the Bill of Rights.  This is why the "shocks the conscience" test was needed.  It was a way of getting around the fact that the 4th and 5th Amendments did not apply to the actions of California or its police officers.

Since then, Malloy v. Hogan in 1964 and Mapp v. Ohio in 1961 have held that states must obey the 5th Amendment and that the exclusionary rule applies to the states.  Because these and other rights from the Bill of Rights now apply to the states, the "shocks the conscience" test is no longer used.

bor's profile pic

bor | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted on

The 4th AM was made applicable to the states in 1949.

Rod, concerning your other thread on this, if you could in the future, if you have  a case in mind, cite it right away, so accurate commentary can be made. The case I cited in that thread, Winston v. Lee, also cited Schmerber, as 397 stated and Rochin, in the fn's. There are literally hundreds of 4th AM decisions by the SC, no one knows them all.

Try researching another SC novel expression; "Between a rock and a whirlpool".

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