High Court Okays Vehicle Dog Searches
Bump and Update: The Supreme Court decision in Illinios v. Cabales is available here (pdf.) Here are some links to news articles and web reaction:
Associated Press provides this quote from the majority opinion of Justice Stevens:
"A dog sniff conducted during a concededly lawful traffic stop that reveals no information other than the location of a substance that no individual has any right to possess does not violate the Fourth Amendment"
And this from the dissent by Ginsberg (Souter joining):
Under today's decision, every traffic stop could become an occasion to call in the dogs, to the distress and embarrassment of the law-abiding population," Ginsburg wrote, citing the danger that police could soon conduct "suspicionless, dog-accompanied drug sweeps" of parked cars or cars stopped at red lights.
A remedy is for states to enact their own legislation:
Some states, including New Jersey, have passed legislation requiring police to have valid grounds to use dogs during traffic stops partly because of the danger of racial profiling, in which minorities are singled out for traffic stops or other scrutiny.
FourthAmendment.Com has extensive analysis and commentary, including this:
Unbelievably bad writing from a luminary like Stevens (must have been drafted by a law clerk and not fully vetted for what it can lead to); an opinion full of holes for both sides....
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