The SCOTUS UNANIMOUSLY (that’s a strong opinion, folks) grants cops even more power to search unreasonably.
Expressing considerable confidence that trained drug-sniffing dogs are reliable, and showing specific respect for one Florida police dog — Aldo — the Supreme Court on Tuesday made it quite easy for police officers to search a car or truck for drugs once a canine snooper has “alerted” to a smell on the vehicle. If the police offer evidence that a dog has been trained, or got a certificate from a training agency, that may well be enough to give police permission to turn an “alert” into a search of a vehicle, the Court said in a unanimous decision written by Justice Elena Kagan (Florida v. Harris, docket 11-817).
The Court specifically rejected a very detailed checklist of proof of a dog’s reliability that the Florida Supreme Court had drawn up before a court could treat a dog’s signaling of the presence of a drug odor as the equivalent of “probable cause” to search. In place of such a checklist, the Court set up a “reasonably prudent person” test — that is, a common-sense review of all of the facts about a dog’s alert, to see if such a prudent person would think that a search would turn up evidence of illegal drugs. “A sniff is up to snuff when it meets that test,” Kagan cleverly summed up.
Did your buddy leave a roach in your ashtray? Do not pass “GO”, go directly to jail. Loaned the car to your kids and “a friend” smoked a joint in it? You’d better hope your spouse didn’t leave a prescription container in the glove box, cuz buddy, that ain’t yours and you’re now guilty of illegal possession of drugs.
If you want to disarm citizens, try it. Institute the “reasonable” limits on magazine capacity.
Just don’t expect us to all go along when you make an exception for cops. Their lives aren’t worth more than mine, or my wife’s, or my child’s, or my grand-childs…
Any limit on guns should apply to cops equally to the rest of us.