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Another Gain For The Police States of Murka

High court OKs drug dog use, rules no suspicion needed at stops

The Supreme Court on Monday expanded police power to conduct searches, ruling that an officer who stops a motorist for a routine traffic violation can use a drug-sniffing dog to detect narcotics in the vehicle, even if the officer had no reason to suspect the car would contain drugs.
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Ralph Meczyk, Caballes' lawyer, criticized the Supreme Court decision, saying it goes well beyond what the court has previously allowed, giving police "unbridled authority" to conduct searches of vehicles. He said that "erodes all citizens' constitutional rights.

"This has an amazing, tremendous, incalculable impact on all citizens," he said.

"As long as you're driving a car, it doesn't take much to commit a traffic violation. That's enough for them to stop you, and once they stop you, that's the end of it," Meczyk said. "You can be subject to a humiliating search at the side of the road."
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"But the court's stated reasoning provides no apparent stopping point short of such excesses," Souter wrote.

Meczyk and Sullivan predicted the reasoning in Monday's case would lead police to push the envelope and use drug dogs in those contexts. During arguments, several justices had appeared troubled that the next case would ask whether police could search a house if a drug-sniffing dog had alerted them to the presence of drugs inside.

"Logically extended to the next case, the house is the next one," Meczyk said.