Breaking News: The Supreme Court just ruled 6-3 that Nebraska police violated the Fourth Amendment by holding a suspect without any probably cause during an otherwise lawful traffic stop in order to allow a drug-sniffing dog to investigate a vehicle.
Courtesy: Getty Images. Shreveport Police Officer Cpl. Will Bates and his dog partner 'Nero' proceed to search a car for drugs and weapons January 25, 2005 in Bossier City, LA.
According to the majority opinion, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg – joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Antonin Scalia, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan – stated that “a police stop exceeding the time needed to handle the matter for which the stop was made violates the Constitution’s shield against unreasonable seizures.”
The case, Rodriguez v. United States, involved Dennys Rodriguez, who was stopped for driving on a highway shoulder, a violation of Nebraska Law. The police officer asked Rodriguez for permission to walk his dog around the vehicle. When Rodriguez refused the officer detained him for eight minutes, until the second officer arrived with the drug-sniffing dog. At which point, the drug-sniffing K-9 alerted to the presence of methamphetamine in the vehicle. The Supreme Court ruled that those extra minutes violated Rodriguez’s constitutional rights under the Fourth Amendment.
The entire Supreme Court opinion in Rodriguez v. United States can be read here.
What do you think vigilant fans? Did the Supreme Court rule correctly? Justice Sonia Sotomayor declared during oral arguments that “we can’t keep bending the Fourth Amendment to the resources of law enforcement.”
Watch Jesse Ventura’s take on the Police State in this Off The Grid video:
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