The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decisions regarding police powers were mixed, thus offering a reminder to civil libertarians that they cannot depend upon the high court to protect the public from unwarranted government intrusions.
“The U.S. Supreme Court handed police one victory and one loss on Tuesday,” reported National Public Radio. “In one decision, the justices limited the power of police to detain people who are away from their homes when police conduct a search. And in a second case, the justices ruled that drug-sniffing dogs don’t have to get every sniff right in order for a search to be valid.” Continue reading
Jonathan H. Adler • July 27, 2012 11:42 am
Today the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit decided United States v. Sharp, a dog-sniff case. Here’s the court’s summary:
It is well-settled that a dog’s sniff around the exterior of a car is not a search under the Fourth Amendment. Defendant appeals the district court’s denial of his motion to suppress because a narcotics dog jumped into his car and sniffed inside the car before “alerting” to the presence of narcotics. The canine’s jump and subsequent sniff inside the vehicle was not a search in violation of the Fourth Amendment because the jump was instinctive and not the product of police encouragement. Therefore, we AFFIRM.