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Donovan v. Dewey
United States Supreme Court
452 U.S. 594 (1981)
Congress passed the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 (the act). One provision of the act allowed the secretary of labor to inspect mines without a warrant. The act prescribed specific guidelines for mine inspections. Underground mines had to be inspected at least four times per year, and surface mines had to be inspected at least twice per year. Inspectors also could go to mines for inspection without advance notice to the mine owners. Owners who refused inspection could be sued in federal court by the Department of Labor. An inspector attempted to inspect a mine owned by Douglas Dewey (defendant), but the inspector was ejected from the mine. The secretary of labor, Raymond Donovan, brought suit in federal district court to enjoin Dewey from barring entry to his mines. The district court ruled for Dewey, finding that the search was not lawful unless the inspector had a warrant. Donovan appealed directly to the Supreme Court.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Marshall, J.)
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