Caballes v. Illinois continues to destroy the Fourth Amendment, logic, and reason

Regular readers of this site know my views on Caballes v. Illinois, the pathetically moronic decision authored by Justice Stevens in the U.S. Supreme Court.

Now it doesn’t take much evidence for police to justify a search of a car. But it does take more than a hunch.

Caballes, however, says that even with only a hunch, police can have a dog sniff around a car and if Rover alerts, now the search is justified. Stevens’ reasoning was that the dog was merely sniffing what was already there, and that you have no expectation of privacy when transporting illegal drugs. This, of course, has no logical basis unless you assume that dogs are 100% accurate — something we know is far from true.

Now the Illinois Supreme Court has taken this lunacy one step further.

Court says drug sniff set-up is OK

It may be a little easier for police officers in Illinois to find drugs after the Illinois Supreme Court this week OK’d drug sniff “set-ups” in one of a handful of decisions.

So, here’s the deal. In this case, the police had no more than a hunch. They also had a dog, so with Caballes v. Illinois in place, they could have the dog sniff around the vehicle. But they went a step further.

They made the driver roll up all the windows, and with auxiliary power on, turn the fans up to high in the car. Then they had the dog sniff around the vehicle. The dog alerted based on the air being forced out of the vehicle.

The Illinois Supreme Court ruled, in a mind-bogglingly stupid opinion written by Justice Lloyd Karmeier, that such a “set-up” was just fine.

It’s a tortured piece of prose, subject to the same lack of reason as Stevens’ work. Just as Stevens tried to claim that the dog sniff wasn’t a search and so (even though on the basis of the sniff alone a search was made) it wasn’t a Fourth Amendment concern, so too Justice Karmeier tries to claim that since the directive to roll up the windows and turn on the fans isn’t by itself a search, the defendant has no Fourth Amendment right.

Justice Charles Freeman wrote a scathing and intelligent dissent, taking the majority to task for its “inappropriate analytical framework,” pointing out that both “search” and “seizure” must be analyzed in the Fourth Amendment, and that while a driver can certainly be required to produce their license and insurance in a traffic stop, going so far as to require the driver to force out of the vehicle is no longer a traffic stop, but is a seizure for the purpose of fishing for a search. That’s a clear Fourth Amendment violation.

I’d like to believe that the U.S. Supreme Court will eventually overrule this (although I have no reason to expect reason there either). Still, in the meantime, expect this set-up to be used a lot now in Illinois.

[Thanks, Robert]
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Caballes v. Illinois continues to destroy the Fourth Amendment, logic, and reason

  1. Paul says:

    It seems clear to me that it is a search, like “turn out your pockets and unroll the cuffs of your shirt and pants.” The cops are no longer accidentally allowing their dog to sniff around your vehicle (which is also clearly a search), but asking you to actively participate in their search.

    It’s a search, plain and simple, obvious to anyone except maybe a judge or prosecutor. The legal profession long ago lost its moorings because plain language and common sense would limit their power and their necessity in our society.

    “First thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.” 🙂

    • Scott says:

      “The legal profession long ago lost its moorings because plain language and common sense would limit their power and their necessity in our society.”

      You nailed it.

      Certain drugs are illegal due to one clause in our Constitution:

      “To regulate Commerce, with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;”

      Our Supreme Court has ruled the equivalent of “Don’t look to the Constitution to find the constitutional basis for the CSA. Look to our Supreme Court decisions instead, where we have clearly and illegally redefined the Commerce Clause.”

      We are up against not just the CSA, but exactly what you wrote.

      We are up against an illegal seizing of power in the judicial branch of government, allowing the other branches to get away with murder.

  2. vicky vampire says:

    Yeah they are fishing for arrests instead of doing real crime work, is that why so many serial crime and cold cases go unsolved lately cause cops are busy checking folks pockets for Cannabis or smoking intrusions on every damn conceivable corner and nook of life.

    Hey remember a few posts back I said they had App for warning folks about Alcohol Checkpoints well now 4 US Senators want them gone from Apple Yeah comments are WTF,WTF,WTF,WTF DOES THE GOVERNMENT not intrude in this days I dare you folks I bet we can not name one damn thing anymore.FRAK.

  3. kant says:

    Stevens’ reasoning was that the dog was merely sniffing what was already there, and that you have no expectation of privacy when transporting illegal drugs. This, of course, has no logical basis unless you assume that dogs are 100% accurate — something we know is far from true.

    Actually stevens assumes two things.

    -that dogs are 100% accurate
    -people don’t have an expectation of privacy when holding contraband and therefore aren’t protected by the 4th amendment. But of course you can’t know that until after the search has been done.

    drugs, terrorism and “to protect the children” continue to be 3 strike anywhere matches turning our constitution into kindling.

  4. Servetus says:

    If the false positives for urine or blood tests for drugs were anywhere near the percentage of false positives in dog searches, the chemical tests would be considered inconclusive and scrapped. But because of the myths surrounding dogs and their alleged sensory responses, we’re stuck with Drug Czar Rin Tin Tin.

    Polygraphs or lie detectors are considered inaccurate, and can’t be used in a court as evidence. Dogs are at least as inaccurate as polygraphs, and therefore dogs should not be considered a valid link in a chain of evidence.

    Infrared searches of dwellings have already been deemed an invasion of privacy by the Supreme Court. Is infrared radiation a lesser means of privacy invasion that using a dog to sniff the air around a vehicle?

    A dog may react from anything to cat odors to fast food wrappers, or more likely a police officer who subconsciously signals his intent to the dog and who wants to circumvent the Fourth Amendment protections of a suspect. The pathway is made wide open to create large numbers of victims of police harassment.

    Also, there should be Fifth Amendment protections concerning self incrimination when it comes to the cops demanding that you vent the air out of your car. Your air is your business, no one else’s. Tell the cops the only air you intend to vent will come out of your ass.

  5. malcolm kyle says:

    Each day you remain silent, you help to destroy the Constitution, fill the prisons with our children, and empower terrorists and criminals worldwide while wasting hundreds of billions of your own tax dollars. Prohibition bears many strong and startling similarities to Torquemada­’s inquisition­, it’s supporters are servants of tyranny and hate. If you’re aware of but not enraged by it’s shear waste and cruel atrocities then both your heart and soul must surely be dead.

  6. Ben Mann says:

    The judicial establishment stands foursquare in support of the drug war. Zero percent chance that the US supreme court revisits the drug-sniffing dog issue just a few years later.

  7. Duncan20903 says:

    I dunno Ben, it sure was shocking when they overturned their previous ruling regarding oral sex. While there’s no doubt that people have a natural born right to enjoy oral sex I never thought I’d see the day when that right was Constitutionally protected.

  8. warren says:

    Only a pig could cook this up.

  9. Carol Kerr says:

    We need to peacefully stand against these ridiculous new drug war ‘cannabis’ laws. The state of Illinois is not acknowledging current documentation that has been brought to their attention time after time after time!!! Our government has patent #6630507 for the neuroprotectant and antioxidant properties of cannabis yet hold it as a schedule one substance. It’s contrary and harmful to our people continue prohibition to profit off both ends of the spectrum!! Every rep can read and has a laptop. There is no excuse for NOT knowing the current medicinal benefits of cannabis. I thinks it’s time for us to stand together and demand they make laws based upon TRUTH and current medical documentation. Let’s work together to bring change! P.E.A.C.E.

  10. Daniel says:

    What is the advantage of having a dog in your vehicle. Will it invalidate the results of the search? Or, a pet cat, LOL.

  11. aussidawg says:

    The solution to the sniffing dog problem is easy. Carry your beloved pet, be it a dog or cat, with you. That will invalidate their search request for obvious reasons.

    In general, as much as I hate to bring the obvious to the front burner, our nation of law has been overtaken by the neocons. They tried during Roosevelt, and Prescott Bu$h faced either charges for treason or helping FDR pass the New Deal.

    The Bu$h family from day one has been a treasounous crime family that has thus far escaped the rule of law. The neocons as a group have an objective to overthrow this nation for their own financial benefit. This is a crime folks!

    Why do we only have a few people in the streets in the midwest fighting for the rights our grandparents fought to keep for us?

    These motherfuckers are being treated as legitimate government all the while they stomp on the Constitution they themselves swore to uphold.

    Fight back for Crissakes!!! These bastards are stealing the country you grew up in for their own selfish and greedy reasons. They are parasites.

    • DdC says:

      Prescott raised his rug rat reich. Just because Boosh 1 was in the CIA since it’s inception and was in on the ground floor of Dyncorps getting no bid contracts in the Lieraq police action. Doesn’t mean he’s… ok yes it does. VP of Eli Lilly Pharmaceuticals with definite vested ignorance keeping Ganja outlawed. I feel there is enough evidence to put Boosh behind the sabotage at the Bay of Pigs and later with Carter’s attempt to rescue the hostages in Iran. I believe he recruited Bill Clinton in the early 70’s and helped him get to Oxford and then elected governor. That, and with Asa Hutchinson as DA in western Arkansas provided the way for Barry Seal to smuggle tons of cocaine and then distribute it throughout the major cities in the 80’s. Providing a war chest for the Iran Contra scandal. None were jailed for. Most of juniors cabinet are criminals who never served a day behind bars. The ringleader Secord got a $50 fine. Ollie by Gholly got a Fauxnews gig.

      The Nazi’s along with Hearst propaganda, wanted to eliminate Hemp. The same as Rockefeller wanted to eliminate Ethanol for the farmers home stilled tractor fuel. The selection in 2000 with the Supremest court, purely fascists acts. Not that Occidental Oil Gore would be better. Keeping the Ganjawar grinding on with gullible citizens and threats. The appeasers selling out for the lesser evils. ConPromising with the cut throats just to serve their own interests. There is no doubt the Ganjawar is not only a cash cow for these International corporatists. It eliminates competition. Laws to promote profits for some of the worse polluters. They outlawed the most useful and versatile plant on the planet. Me thinks they would. All the TV gossip news shows are paranoid over the nuke fallout and not one has mentioned a potential remedy using the deep roots of Hemp.

      Hemp ‘Eats’ Chernobyl Waste
      The blast heavily contaminated agricultural lands in a 30 km radius around the reactor. The few people still living there must monitor their food and water for radiation. However the combination of a new technology (phytoremediation) and an old crop (industrial hemp) may offer the Ukraine a way to decontaminate it’s radioactive soil.

      Busht Hypocrisy & Double Standards – 12/02/03

      Busht: Timeline of Treason – 12/02/03

      Bushladen and the Terrorists Carlyles Groups – 12/02/03

Comments are closed.