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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Courts - More on: SCOTUS to consider "the authority of police to follow up on an anonymous tip about an unsafe driver"

Updating this ILB post from Jan. 20th, Mark Sherman of the AP has this story on the oral argument. A quote:

Lawyers for California and the Obama administration, defending the traffic stop based on the anonymous tip, said keeping the public safe from drunken drivers outweighs the intrusion of a traffic stop. They said a tip about someone driving recklessly would be enough because reckless driving often follows having had too much to drink.

But Justice Sonia Sotomayor said people use the term "reckless" differently, suggesting she might not accept the governments' argument.

Sotomayor gave as an example her mother, who doesn't like it when the justice tops 50 miles per hour behind the wheel. "She thinks that when I'm going 51, I'm speeding and reckless," Sotomayor said.

The case is Navarette v. California. Lyle Denniston of SCOTUSblog has this argument recap. A quote:
On Tuesday, the Court was offered two basic options on where to draw that line: the police should not be free to act on the basis of an anonymous tip that contains some reliable but innocent facts just because the crime that might have occurred is a serious one; and the police should be free to act in that circumstance, especially when the tipster claims to have been an eyewitness.

The Justices did not seem happy with either formulation, because the suggested lines of demarcation would become a bit fuzzy when hypotheticals tested them.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on January 22, 2014 10:19 AM
Posted to Courts in general