Sunday, November 22, 2009
Timothy P. O'Neill (John Marshall Law School) has posted Vagrants in Volvos: Ending Pretextual Traffic Stops and Consent Searches of Vehicles in Illinois (Loyola University Chicago Law Journal, Vol. 40, p. 746, 2009) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
Vagrancy laws provided a way of controlling the movement of former slaves in the South after the Civil War. The traffic code is the new way of controlling the movements of minorities in America. Aided by U.S. Supreme Court decisions in Whren, Atwater, and Caballes, police have almost unlimited discretion to stop any driver. But the use of traffic stops on minority drivers - for the purpose of obtaining consent to search the car without any probable cause or reasonable suspicion - is particularly pernicious. This article suggests ways to curb this police practice.