In U.S. v. Davis, No. 08-16654 (March 11, 2010), recognizing a Circuit split on this issue, the Court held that even though the police search of a vehicle was unreasonable under Arizona v. Gant, 129 S.Ct. 1710 (2009), the fruits of the search need not be suppressed, because the police were relying in good faith on pre-Gant precedent which authorized their search.
The Court first held that the constitutionality of a search, and the applicability of the exclusionary rule to suppress the fruits of the search, are separate questions. The application of the exclusionary rule is subject to the “good faith exception.” The Court emphasized that pre-Gant law was clear, and “unambiguously” authorized the search in this case. Consequently, the Court declined to apply the exclusionary rule.