Tuesday, October 14, 2008

first colorful (or is it "noir"?) dissent of the new term

Noir From the denial of certiorari, Chief Justice Roberts's dissent begins:

North Philly, May 4, 2001. Officer Sean Devlin, Narcotics Strike Force, was working the morning shift. Undercover surveillance. The neighborhood? Tough as a three-dollar steak. Devlin knew. Five years on the beat, nine months with the Strike Force. He's made fifteen, twenty drug busts in the neighborhood.

Devlin spotted him: a lone man on the corner. Another approached. Quick exchange of words. Cash handed over; small objects handed back. Each man then quickly on his own way. Devlin knew the guy wasn't buying bus tokens. He radioed a description and Officer Stein picked up the buyer. Sure enough: three bags of crack in the guy's pocket. Head downtown and book him. Just another day at the office.

From Pennsylvania v. Dunlap, No. 07-1486 (Oct. 14, 2008) (joined in the dissent by Justice Kennedy).

hat tip: Chris Wren



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