Marjorie Cohn writes – disapprovingly – about how the Supreme Court upheld a traffic stop even where there was no traffic violation. The case was Heien v. North Carolina, and was decided in December, with Justice Sotomayor being the only dissenter. But what Cohn, a professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, really focuses on is how this opinion is part of a disturbing erosion of the Fourth Amendment. She writes:
Indeed, since 2000, the court has decided 13 cases that significantly weaken the Fourth Amendment’s guarantee against unreasonable searches and seizures:
– Illinois v. Wardlow (2000) – Flight in a high-crime neighborhood may constitute reasonable suspicion for a warrantless stop.
– Board of Education v. Pottawatomie (2002) – Public schools can randomly drug test students who engage in extracurricular activities.
– Maryland v. Pringle (2003) – When drugs are found in a car, all occupants may be arrested even without particularized evidence connecting them to the drugs.
– Hiibel v. Sixth Judicial District Court of Nevada (2004) – A state can compel someone stopped by police to identify himself.
– Illinois v. Caballes (2005) – Police can use a drug dog to sniff around a car even without prior probable cause or reasonable suspicion that drugs are present.
– Samson v. California (2006) – Parolees can be searched without a warrant even if there is no reasonable suspicion or probable cause of criminal activity.
– Hudson v. Michigan (2006) – No suppression of evidence for violation of the knock and announce requirement.
– Herring v. US (2009) – Police can rely on information received from another law enforcement agency that there is a warrant out for the arrest of a person, even though the information is erroneous, which raises the bar for exclusion of illegally obtained evidence.
– Kentucky v. King (2011) – Police can search without a warrant under the exigent circumstances exception even if the police themselves created the exigency.
– Arizona v. US (2012) – Police can ask about immigration status if they have reasonable suspicion the person is not lawfully present in the United States, even though “reasonable suspicion” is based on racial profiling.
– Florida v. Harris (2013) – Alert by a drug-detection dog can constitute probable cause for search even without a showing that the dog is reliable.
– Maryland v. King (2013) – Arrestees can be forced to provide DNA samples even if they are not convicted of a crime.
– Fernandez v. California (2014) – Police can conduct warrantless searches under the consent exception even if a co-tenant objects to the search.
At this rate, how much Fourth Amendment protection might be left by 2020?
Thanks to Joe Cadillic for the link.