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OfflineSWEDEN
Miracle of Science

Registered: 10/25/04
Posts: 2,577
Loc: PNW
Last seen: 3 years, 4 months
Supreme Court ruling: police may now use drug sniffing dogs during routine traffic stops
    #3698367 - 01/29/05 02:44 PM (12 years, 3 months ago)

By Jan Crawford Greenburg Washington Bureau

The Supreme Court on Monday expanded police power to conduct searches, ruling that an officer who stops a motorist for a routine traffic violation can use a drug-sniffing dog to detect narcotics in the vehicle, even if the officer had no reason to suspect the car would contain drugs.

The decision in an Illinois case gives law enforcement the authority to use drug-detecting dogs in the course of any minor traffic stop. As long as the dog sniff does not unduly prolong the traffic stop, the court said, it would not violate the driver's constitutional right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures.

"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 4th Amendment," Justice John Paul Stevens (news - web sites) wrote in a 6-2 decision.

Dissenting Justices David Souter (news - web sites) and Ruth Bader Ginsburg (news - web sites) said the decision allows police to turn any routine traffic stop into a drug investigation and "clears the way" for dog-accompanied drug sweeps of cars stopped at traffic lights and parked along sidewalks and in garages.

"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 in her dissent, which Souter joined.

Chief Justice William Rehnquist (news - web sites), generally a staunch supporter of law enforcement, had just begun treatment for thyroid cancer when the case was argued in November and did not participate in the decision. He has said he would not take part in any of the November cases unless the court was deadlocked 4-4.

The decision was a victory for Illinois Atty. Gen. Lisa Madigan, who had urged the justices to take the case and argued it before the court in November. She said Monday that she decided to argue the case because she had seen the "horrible devastation drugs bring to communities" while working on Chicago's West Side earlier in her career.

"Drug interdiction teams using canine units have been incredibly successful in intercepting drugs. Without the ability to use them, law enforcement would be severely hampered," Madigan said. "We're very pleased with the decision and hope this will simply reinforce law enforcement's ability to intercept drugs and keep them out of our communities."

The decision reversed a ruling by the Illinois Supreme Court, which had said police violated Roy Caballes' constitutional rights when they searched his car after he was stopped for going 71 m.p.h. on Interstate Highway 80 in LaSalle County, where the speed limit is 65. While an officer was writing him a warning, another walked around his car with a dog.

The dog signaled the presence of drugs in the car, so officers searched the trunk, found 282 pounds of marijuana and arrested Caballes. He was convicted for trafficking in marijuana, sentenced to 12 years in prison and fined $256,000. Because of his successful legal challenges in the state courts, he has not begun serving his sentence.

Ralph Meczyk, Caballes' lawyer, criticized the Supreme Court decision, saying it goes well beyond what the court has previously allowed, giving police "unbridled authority" to conduct searches of vehicles. He said that "erodes all citizens' constitutional rights.

"This has an amazing, tremendous, incalculable impact on all citizens," he said.

"As long as you're driving a car, it doesn't take much to commit a traffic violation. That's enough for them to stop you, and once they stop you, that's the end of it," Meczyk said. "You can be subject to a humiliating search at the side of the road."

The Illinois court had ruled such searches illegal, curtailing police ability to use drug-sniffing dogs. The officers should not have used the dog, the state court said, because police did not suspect Caballes was carrying drugs.

In his 4 1/2-page opinion reversing the Illinois court, Stevens emphasized that the Supreme Court was resolving only the narrow question of whether police had to have some suspicion of drug activity before they could use drug-sniffing dogs following a traffic stop.

Stevens concluded the answer was no. A drug sniff did not raise legitimate privacy concerns, the court said, because the narcotics-detecting dog only exposed illegal drugs, not other items that would otherwise be hidden from view. It therefore does not violate the 4th Amendment, he wrote.

That conclusion made the case consistent with one decided in 2001 involving the use of thermal-imaging devices to detect marijuana growing under lamps in a person's home, Stevens said. In that case, the court said the use of thermal imaging devices amounted to an unconstitutional search, because they were capable of detecting lawful activities, such as when occupants of the home were taking a bath.



But Meczyk and the dissenting justices said Stevens failed to appreciate how often the drug-sniffing dogs are wrong. One study showed dogs could falsely alert authorities to the presence of drugs more than half of the time, Souter noted.

Barry Sullivan, a partner at Chicago-based Jenner & Block who wrote a brief in the case for the American Civil Liberties Union (news - web sites), said the court's logic--that the search was permissible because the dog would only find something illegal--was flawed and has far-reaching implications.

"Millions of people who are driving and who may have broken taillights--or who may accidentally turn right where a right turn is not permitted on a red light, or who are going a couple miles above the speed limit--are now subject to being sniffed," Sullivan said.

Madigan said drug dogs are expensive and now are used sparingly. Of an estimated 35,000 traffic stops in Illinois each month, 125 involve the use of a drug sniffing dog, she said.

In his dissent, Souter said the majority did not say dog sniffs "always get a free pass under the 4th Amendment." The court did not give broad authority to conduct sniffs for drugs in any parked car or on any pedestrian on a sidewalk, he said.

"But the court's stated reasoning provides no apparent stopping point short of such excesses," Souter wrote.

Meczyk and Sullivan predicted the reasoning in Monday's case would lead police to push the envelope and use drug dogs in those contexts. During arguments, several justices had appeared troubled that the next case would ask whether police could search a house if a drug-sniffing dog had alerted them to the presence of drugs inside.

"Logically extended to the next case, the house is the next one," Meczyk said.

*****************************************

Great.  One more item on my long list of things to worry about. :stoned:


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Edited by SWEDEN (01/29/05 02:44 PM)


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InvisibleAnnapurna1
liberal pussy
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Registered: 05/21/02
Posts: 5,646
Loc: innsmouth..MA
Re: Supreme Court ruling: police may now use drug sniffing dogs during routine traffic stops [Re: SWEDEN]
    #3698610 - 01/29/05 03:55 PM (12 years, 3 months ago)

the decision not only opens the door to searches of homes based on the bark of a dog..but on any probable cause that can be obtained without actually entering the property.. ie from fishing expeditions...i think it is now safe to say that the sky really is falling.. this decision could..and should..go down in history as the official declaration of a police state...


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"anchor blocks counteract the process of pontiprobation..while omalean globes regulize the pressure"...


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Invisibleusefulidiot
It's notfascist, it's...Neoconservative!

Registered: 11/21/02
Posts: 732
Re: Supreme Court ruling: police may now use drug sniffing dogs during routine traffic stops [Re: SWEDEN]
    #3698612 - 01/29/05 03:56 PM (12 years, 3 months ago)

Excellent


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InvisibleRavus
Not an EggshellWalker
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Registered: 07/18/03
Posts: 7,991
Loc: Cave of the Patriarchs
Re: Supreme Court ruling: police may now use drug sniffing dogs during routine traffic stops [Re: SWEDEN]
    #3698642 - 01/29/05 04:05 PM (12 years, 3 months ago)

"Stevens concluded the answer was no. A drug sniff did not raise legitimate privacy concerns, the court said, because the narcotics-detecting dog only exposed illegal drugs, not other items that would otherwise be hidden from view. It therefore does not violate the 4th Amendment, he wrote."

Couldn't this be applied to your house, then? To when you take a walk in the park? If they don't care about things that "only expose illegal activities," then why stop at the car?

Their reasoning is extremely frightening, it sounds like a signal of things to come. Make something illegal, and it doesn't matter what means you use to get to it, as long as you catch it.

Ah well, I hope we've all said a formal goodbye to our liberties in this prison-filled liberty-violating country.


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So long as you are praised think only that you are not yet on your own path but on that of another.


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OfflineSWEDEN
Miracle of Science

Registered: 10/25/04
Posts: 2,577
Loc: PNW
Last seen: 3 years, 4 months
Re: Supreme Court ruling: police may now use drug sniffing dogs during routine traffic stops [Re: usefulidiot]
    #3698652 - 01/29/05 04:08 PM (12 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

usefulidiot said:
Excellent





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Invisibleusefulidiot
It's notfascist, it's...Neoconservative!

Registered: 11/21/02
Posts: 732
Re: Supreme Court ruling: police may now use drug sniffing dogs during routine traffic stops [Re: Ravus]
    #3698674 - 01/29/05 04:13 PM (12 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

it sounds like a signal of things to come.




Yeah..too bad it seems way too many people let all the other potential 'signals of things to come' fly right over their heads in the last few years as if to believe that all these new legislations are practical and necessary.

And now thanks to America's remaining upstanding 'patriots', it is too late to do anything about it. Thanks America.


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Invisiblephreakyzen
My God is anAwesome God

Registered: 12/16/02
Posts: 274
Loc: Under the sea
Re: Supreme Court ruling: police may now use drug sniffing dogs during routine traffic stops [Re: SWEDEN]
    #3698881 - 01/29/05 05:13 PM (12 years, 3 months ago)

Is there some sort of legal substance we can use that can thwart the dogs? Like cayanne pepper or something?

I wouldn't want to damage the dog.:evil: I just want to make sure any such harmful substance is not in my car if I happen to be pulled over.

Does anybody know how easy or hard it is to move to Canada?


Edited by phreakyzen (01/29/05 05:20 PM)


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OfflineSWEDEN
Miracle of Science

Registered: 10/25/04
Posts: 2,577
Loc: PNW
Last seen: 3 years, 4 months
Re: Supreme Court ruling: police may now use drug sniffing dogs during routine traffic stops [Re: phreakyzen]
    #3698918 - 01/29/05 05:29 PM (12 years, 3 months ago)

Just don't have it in your car.  Or triple shrink wrap it.

You want to move to Canada?  Stay here and fight for your right...






















To paaaaaaaaartyyyyy!  you knew it was coming. :grin:


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OfflineBaby_Hitler
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Re: Supreme Court ruling: police may now use drug sniffing dogs during routine traffic stops [Re: SWEDEN]
    #3698948 - 01/29/05 05:42 PM (12 years, 3 months ago)

Next will come manditory drug tests at traffic stops.


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Invisiblephreakyzen
My God is anAwesome God

Registered: 12/16/02
Posts: 274
Loc: Under the sea
Re: Supreme Court ruling: police may now use drug sniffing dogs during routine traffic stops [Re: SWEDEN]
    #3698991 - 01/29/05 05:57 PM (12 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

SWEDEN said:
Just don't have it in your car.  Or triple shrink wrap it.

You want to move to Canada?  Stay here and fight for your right...




I would not have anything in my car. I just want make sure I do not mistakingly have any substance that is harmful to a dog's nose. :evil:


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InvisibleSwami
Eggshell Walker

Registered: 01/19/00
Posts: 15,413
Loc: In the hen house
Re: Supreme Court ruling: police may now use drug sniffing dogs during routine traffic stops [Re: phreakyzen]
    #3699023 - 01/29/05 06:06 PM (12 years, 3 months ago)

I would not have in a car
No, I would not go that far.

I would not have it in a boat
I would not have in a moat.

I would not have it in a plane,
For that would surely be insane.

I would not carry purple nugs
I would not carry any drugs.

I would not smoke any spleef
Even though it brings relief.

I would not roll it in a paper
I am too smart for such a caper.

I would not load it in a bong
For that we know is very wrong.


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The proof is in the pudding.


Edited by Swami (01/29/05 06:52 PM)


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OfflineProsgeopax
Jaded, yethopeful?

Registered: 01/28/05
Posts: 1,258
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Last seen: 11 years, 4 months
Re: Supreme Court ruling: police may now use drug sniffing dogs during routine traffic stops [Re: Swami]
    #3699091 - 01/29/05 06:39 PM (12 years, 3 months ago)

P. D. Eastman?


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Money doesn't grow on trees, but deficits do grow under Bushes.

You can accept, reject, or examine and test any new idea that comes to you. The wise man chooses the third way.
- Tom Willhite

Disclaimer: I reserve the right to change my opinions should I become aware of additional facts, the falsification of information or different perspectives. Articles written by others which I post may not necessarily reflect my opinions in part or in whole, my opinions may be in direct opposition, the topic may be one on which I have yet to formulate an opinion or have doubts about, an article may be posted solely with the intent to stimulate discussion or contemplation.


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InvisibleSwami
Eggshell Walker

Registered: 01/19/00
Posts: 15,413
Loc: In the hen house
Re: Supreme Court ruling: police may now use drug sniffing dogs during routine traffic stops [Re: Prosgeopax]
    #3699116 - 01/29/05 06:46 PM (12 years, 3 months ago)

I was channeling Dr. Seuss...  :stoned:


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The proof is in the pudding.


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Offlinezappaisgod
horrid asshole

Registered: 02/11/04
Posts: 81,741
Loc: Fractallife's gym
Last seen: 10 months, 24 days
Re: Supreme Court ruling: police may now use drug sniffing dogs during routine traffic stops [Re: Swami]
    #3699149 - 01/29/05 06:55 PM (12 years, 3 months ago)

wrong and bong????
I would not rub it on my schlong
I would not smoke it in a bong


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Invisibleblacksabbathrulz
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Registered: 05/22/02
Posts: 2,511
Re: Supreme Court ruling: police may now use drug sniffing dogs during routine traffic stops [Re: Swami]
    #3699151 - 01/29/05 06:57 PM (12 years, 3 months ago)

WTF, this is the biggest crock of shit I have ever read. Talk about limiting our freedoms.


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InvisibleSwami
Eggshell Walker

Registered: 01/19/00
Posts: 15,413
Loc: In the hen house
Re: Supreme Court ruling: police may now use drug sniffing dogs during routine traffic stops [Re: zappaisgod]
    #3699158 - 01/29/05 07:00 PM (12 years, 3 months ago)

I will incorporate your improved line on my next reprinting.  :grin:


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The proof is in the pudding.


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