• alan1tx – what you’re missing – and yeah, lots of poeple here have pointed out that he should’ve said no when asked for permission to search — is that the cops did not have a legitimate reason to stop that car in the first place.

    Until Monday, if there’s no legal reason for a traffic stop, anything found in that stop would be thrown out, unusable as evidence.
    Thats what makes this case significant.

  • Msmolly, the court has weakened stop and search law so much that I’m no longer clear on exactly where the law is on searching a car without a warrant.
    But, from news stories it seems to me that if certain cops really want to search your car, they will come up with a “reason” to do so.

    Recent cases have been much like other police-involved cases – whatever the cops did seems to be approved by courts, partly on that same naive assumption that cops act in good faith and tell the truth.

    That does make driving and lord help us, exercising our right to demonstrate and petition our government, scary things to do. I am just hoping we are about to hit bottom, and start climbing back up again. A different Supreme Court could change the rules back.

  • Msmolly – Mason is right that you aren’t the target population for traffic stops to look for drugs.

    But the point of this case is that yes, you could be stopped, and not for some minor traffic violation, but even without any violation of law at all.

    This case says the cop doesn’t even have to find a violation; he can just claim to have seen a violation, and his stop and subsequent search will be upheld.
    THAT is what’s wrong with this.

    And I, a white woman, have been stopped at night for a headlight being out. That was on a lonely rural road in Oklahoma. Remember, at night the cop can’t see who’s driving.
    I had a new headlight in a box on the back seat that time, which I showed to the state trooper. I told him the light had gone out the day before, and since I had to travel three counties away for court, I hadn’t had a chance to install the new lamp I’d bought.
    He let me go with a warning. But if I’d turned out to be black, or Mexican, or Indian, I wonder if that’s how it would have turned out?
    Of course, that was also before all of these cases weakening Fourth Amendment law, too.

  • I know I’m horribly late to this discussion, and I haven’t read the opinion in Heien, but…the thing that bothers me about Box Turtle’s argument about cops not being able to know the law is his assumptions.

    Those thousands of laws aren’t all traffic laws. There’s a relatively small set of traffic laws; when the state legislature passes new ones, cops get trained on it…usually by a prosecutor.
    Same when the Supreme Court makes new law relevant to traffic policing.

    And third – broken taillight is very very basic and commonly used as a basis for a stop. It’s so common, I saw a police procedural the other day that used it as a plot device, without a lot of exposition.

    It’s absolutely reasonable to expect traffic cops to know the current traffic laws. And it has been a rule of criminal law for many years that if no law is violated, there is no probable cause for a stop.

    The Supreme Court just threw out these very basic principles without much thought, it seems.

    Yes, I agree with that headline on the link above – “it’s no accident that the only justice with experience in a criminal courtroom is the one who dissented.”

    This is my big problem with the trend of the last thirty years to appoint big firm corporate lawyers to appeals courts and the Supreme Court. They repeatedly betray their naivete and lack of knowledge of the lives of ordinary people in the opinions they write.
    They assume good faith on the part of the cops; by now they ought to know better. They assume good faith on the part of most litigants, where just a little cynicism would lead to a much better result.

    They don’t understand how simple interactions among “ordinary” humans, let alone between ordinary humans and cops, actually proceed in the real world.

    I gather that a reason for BT’s reasoning was serious cynicsim – “they’ve already done this”, i.e., eliminated rational bases for cops’ actions, and so it’s no big deal.
    But it is a big deal. It is a chip, but it’s a very big chip. Not holding traffic cops accountable for getting the law wrong is going to have broad, very bad consequences.
    Just like other fourth amendment searches, the only way to keep the cops honest (mostly) is to throw out the bad arrests and bad searches.
    Having your case tossed because you got the law wrong is important.

    It was bad enough they lied sometimes. Now they have an incentive to lie. The consequences will be seen soon.

  • tejanarusa commented on the blog post Over Easy

    2014-12-11 09:12:02View | Delete

    I can forgive DiFi a lot of her weaseliness for making sure this got out in public before it was too late. I’m amazed at the amazement and ignorance being expressed by people you’d have thought would have known long ago.

  • tejanarusa commented on the blog post Over Easy

    2014-12-11 09:03:04View | Delete

    Oh, wait! I know! Have you noticed how many of the usual suspects being interviewed throw in that little word, “legally” before interrogated, or “enhanced interrogation,” or some such thing.
    Heard one guy saying “they took it to the DOJ, and DOJ said it was legal.”
    While I’m shouting at the radio – yeah, ’cause John Yoo and his colleagues “tortured” the law to find a way to call it legal!
    And there was John Yoo on the tv, saying, “any country in the world would have done what we did.” Or some such thing.
    All this, “those people want to KILL US!”
    Why don’t the Dems – or somebody, somebody not an evil collaborator in torture — just point out that these apologists are rank cowards? They’re afraid of every damn thing. OUr ancestors would be appalled.
    Hmm, this sleep deprivation may not be torture (?) but it is a little like being drunk, or punchy…somebody was kept awake for EIGHT FRICKING DAYS!!! I think I’d feel tortured. How about y’all?

  • tejanarusa commented on the blog post Over Easy

    2014-12-11 08:58:25View | Delete

    Morning, Dinerzens–if I’m unclear forgive me, my sleep cycle is messed up and I haven’t been to bed from yesterday. But I just wanted to come by and ssay that the oly positive thing I’m feeling from this torteure report is — a tiny bit of smugness and prideto have been here at the Lake when so much of this was going on, and most of it was reported right here.
    If you’re a latecomer, you might not realize it, but real reporting was happening right here at this little old dfh blog.
    Has anybody managed to slog through the whole 500 pp of the “executive summary?” Was there really anything in there you didnt know? The left blogosphere knew pretty much all of what I’m hearing about, perhaps in slightly less detail, but otherwise, yup, we already knew this that is so “shocking, shocking” to the supposed professional journos.
    Am I right, folks?
    Naturally, I am fading at last, and will likely soon be asleep. There’s more thoughts in the back of my head, but….can’t quite..bring ‘em forward…zzzzz ….BBL.

  • tejanarusa commented on the blog post Late Late Night FDL: All About That Baste

    2014-11-26 23:42:55View | Delete

    Have you ever seen a play called “Las Tamaleras?” Meaning the tamal makers. It’s a lovely piece about a couple of assimilated young Mexican-Americans deciding to learn to make tamales, and the help they get from the spirits of their grandmothers. ;)

    And now, I am getting hungry…gotta go see what I can risk eating, and go to bed.

  • tejanarusa commented on the blog post Late Late Night FDL: All About That Baste

    2014-11-26 23:29:18View | Delete

    Oh, the tamales! Wow, you have helped make the tamales? Do you know, when I first met Tony, each of us had recently bought a food processor.
    He was all excited when we got married that he would now have one for the masa and one for the meat filling.
    He was the only tamal maker for his family; nobody ever came to help. It’s an incredible amount of work,(as you know) traditionally done by a dozen or so family members spending a whole day, and making enough for all to take with them. Food processor makes it muuuuuch easier.
    Even at that, eventually he tired of it, and began buying them.

  • tejanarusa commented on the blog post Late Late Night FDL: All About That Baste

    2014-11-26 23:21:36View | Delete

    Sweet gherkins are my mom’s favorite. Also, black olives. ;)

  • tejanarusa commented on the blog post Late Late Night FDL: All About That Baste

    2014-11-26 23:19:55View | Delete

    LOL. The pickles must be served in a cut-glass or crystal divided dish, of course.

    Those are easy to find these days – just check out an estate sale. People of a certain age and class all seemed to have them. (I had to quit going to estate sales; it was like watching my parents’ stuff being sold. Or my childhood.)

  • tejanarusa commented on the blog post Late Late Night FDL: All About That Baste

    2014-11-26 23:18:22View | Delete

    German roots? Oh, probably the generation, even more than the ethnic history.

    I have one more Thanksgiving story: First one hosted by me and second husband, who is 3rd gen Mexican-Texan. As I set the last dish upon the table hubby’s younger brother asked, “where are the tortillas?” His mom reached practically slapped him down—-and said immediately, “We don’t have tortillas at Thanksgiving!” She was really embarrassed.
    Now of course, some Mexican families do have tortillas or other heritage side dishes.
    We actually had some very nice Thanksgivings, including the one when all the parents were living, and my parents travelled to join us. It was later that certain people went into crazy mode…

  • tejanarusa commented on the blog post Late Late Night FDL: All About That Baste

    2014-11-26 23:11:13View | Delete

    Well, true. Although the parents both have deep Texas roots, and wound up in Massachusetts for gnome’s dad’s work. Gnome herself was a little kid in El Paso! but they were there quite awhile before retiring back to Texas. I found them surprisingly easy to talk with. ;)

  • tejanarusa commented on the blog post Late Late Night FDL: All About That Baste

    2014-11-26 23:09:16View | Delete

    Hah..that is wise. Maybe easier for you, having that journalistic tradition.

    I have thought of writing my mother’s….I was absolutely useless in getting my dad’s written, and I feel bad about that. (Mom’s 96, and was given a two-month prognosis in February of this year).

    Food for thought.

  • tejanarusa commented on the blog post Late Late Night FDL: All About That Baste

    2014-11-26 23:06:30View | Delete

    I’ve been a guest at many Thanksgiving dinners — but the pickle tray is usually absent.
    Can you believe it, once I even went to Thanksgiving dinner with a family of complete strangers. Met a girl on the plane from Pittsburgh to Indy (plan on taking bus to Bloomington, to IU), and she invited me to dinner, just outside Indy. Then they took me back to the bus station. They were a real “the more merrier! family.)

  • tejanarusa commented on the blog post Late Late Night FDL: All About That Baste

    2014-11-26 23:03:48View | Delete

    So, Suze, you staying over Friday night, or will dinner be much earlier?
    And yes, I have plenty of food, now that I have a little energy to prepare it.
    (My favorite whine–heard on facebook — “There’s no food in the house! All I have are ingredients!”)

  • tejanarusa commented on the blog post Late Late Night FDL: All About That Baste

    2014-11-26 23:01:16View | Delete

    I’m sure I’ll be fine in a day or two – but not quite ready to eat such heavy Thanksgiving fare. I’m sorry to miss the visit; 2 years ago I had Thanksgiving with gnomedeplume’s family in Gnomeville, up the road.
    It was hilarious, in a way; her parents are just a little younger than mine, and both the table setting and the foods on it seemed just like the ones I grew up with. Apparently it all comes from the German Lutheran side. ;)
    Even to a pickle tray!

  • tejanarusa commented on the blog post Late Late Night FDL: All About That Baste

    2014-11-26 22:36:54View | Delete

    Funny, tut, chocolate pie just doesn’t feel right for Thanksgiving to me—although I have provided one on request by an in-law. Pumpkin and, around here, pecan.
    I’m so old, I remember when mince pie was the other Thanksgiving “must-have” pie.

  • tejanarusa commented on the blog post Late Late Night FDL: All About That Baste

    2014-11-26 22:34:50View | Delete

    Ah, now I get a cartoon that used the same play on words. Thanks. I’m pretty far behind music after, say, early ’80′s.
    Just dropping by to say Happy Thanksgiving, Suzanne, ctut, and any other lln’ers.
    Not sorry I’m not hosting squabbling family members and in-laws for Thanksgiving. I wouldn’t mind being a guest – but my little “bug” yesterday still has me feeling not-so-good, so I’ve officially turned down the invitation I did have.
    Which probably means I’ll feel fine by tomorrow, right?

  • tejanarusa commented on the diary post Over Easy: Transcripts show #DarrenWilson Lied to the Grand Jury by Masoninblue.

    2014-11-26 22:30:28View | Delete

    In case anyone looks back in…thanks for all the kind remarks. Surprise; I went back to sleep after dropping by. My feline overlords are good – they’ve been sticking close while I’ve been under the weather; beside, other side, on my back, on my legs…sticking like glue, actually. Sweet Nagi. I’d be jealous of those [...]

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