"...do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic..."

"For the good of the Air Force, for the good of the armed services and for the good of our country, I urge you to reject convention and careerism..."
- Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Maxwell AFB, April 21, 2008

"You will need to challenge conventional wisdom and call things like you see them to subordinates and superiors alike."
- Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, United States Air Force Academy, March 4, 2011

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

SCOTUS Gets it Right - Scope of a Stop Matters to our Fourth Amendment Rights

In a 6-3 decision
, the SCOTUS provided some guidance on its previous decision of Mimms and its use of the term de minimus, making it clear that a federal judge's personal view that a constitutional violation is no big deal does not allow judges to not rule correctly, and the High Court reiterated that law enforcement must be diligent when dealing with Americans, not dilly dally as if they can do whatever they want, stating:

Its tolerable duration is determined by the seizure’s “mission,” which is to address the traffic violation that warranted the stop, Illinois v. Caballes, 543 U. S. 405, 407 and attend to related safety concerns. Authority for the seizure ends when tasks tied to the traffic infraction are—or reasonably should have been— completed...

In this decision, our High Court found that a 29 minute detention based on reasonable suspicion for a crime, violated the Fourth Amendment when law enforcement detained two Americans beyond the time reasonably necessary for the scope of the stop.  This is common sense in light of our right to not be unreasonably seized, but today there are those who get it wrong and need to be reminded that our Constitution and our law is not simply a suggestion.

This excellent opinion, and example of public servants getting it right, can be read here.

No comments:

Post a Comment