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Echoes and Mirrors» Blog Archive » Good news, for a change

Good news, for a change

Supreme Court Limits Police of Cars During Arrests:

In a decision written by Justice John Paul Stevens, an unusual five-member majority said police may search a vehicle without a warrant only when the suspect could reach for a weapon or try to destroy evidence, or when it is “reasonable to believe” there is evidence in the car supporting the crime at hand.

The justices noted that law enforcement for years has interpreted the court’s rulings on warrantless car searches to mean that officers may search the passenger compartment of a vehicle as part of a lawful arrest of a suspect. But Stevens said that was a misreading of the court’s decision in New York v. Belton in 1981.

“Blind adherence to Belton’s faulty assumption would authorize myriad unconstitutional searches,” Stevens said, adding that the court’s tradition of honoring past decisions did not bind it to continue such a view of the law. “The doctrine of stare decisis does not require us to approve routine constitutional violations.”

A nice thing to hear in these dark days. The SCOTUS has made some very dubious decisions, but this one is a breath of fresh air. It doesn’t make up for Kelo. But it’s another good call, just like Heller (another great decision). Let’s see some more of this.

What I want to see out of SCOTUS:

  1. 1996 Defense of Marriage Act repealed
  2. Guilt-before-innocence in DUI charges normalized to match any other crime.
  3. Kelo Reversed
  4. Roe v. Wade strengthened – or even better, abortion removed from federal jurisdiction.
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