As many of you know, I find the decision written by Justice Stevens in Caballes v. Illinois to have the jurisprudential value of the what comes out of the other end of the sniffer in question.
At the time, some of the more level-headed realized that this was a potential future nightmare, with police using dogs to sniff around parked cars, and even homes. Yep. That’s what they want to do in Florida.
Scott Greenfield’s Simple Justice has an excellent post: A Sniff Too Far that also contains reactions from Orin Kerr at Volokh.
[Kerr] The question is, does the Caballes rule apply when the dog is brought to the front door of a home rather than a car? A divided Florida Supreme Court ruled in Jardines v. State that Caballes does not apply and that probable cause is required to bring the dog up to the home for a sniff.
[Greenfield] Florida is seeking cert, so this may come before the Supremes. While most of us would hope that if the Supreme Court grabs hold of this case, it would use it to backdoor out of Caballes on the basis of dog sniffs being unworthy of constituting probable cause.
It certainly would be nice to think that, particularly armed with the new studies regarding the unreliability of dog sniffs, a new case at the Supremes would make them reconsider and throw away Caballes (Stevens is gone, after all).
On the other hand, if the Supremes continue to follow the drug war exception to the Bill of Rights, we could soon be faced with an army of cops with dogs going door to door, knocking on doors to helpfully ask if everything’s OK or whether there’s been any suspicious activity in the neighborhood, inevitably followed by “What’s that, Fido? You say you smell some marijuana residue?”