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Ornelas v. United States - Significance, Scalia Dissents, Impact, Drug-sniffing Dogs

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Saul Ornelas, Ismael Ornelas-Ledesma


United States

Petitioners' Claim

Police lacked probable cause to conduct a search of their vehicle.

Chief Lawyer for Petitioners

Cornelia T. L. Pillard

Chief Lawyers for Respondent

Robert G. LeBell, Brian W. Gleason

Justices for the Court

Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Anthony M. Kennedy, Sandra Day O'Connor, William H. Rehnquist (writing for the Court), David H. Souter, John Paul Stevens, Clarence Thomas

Justices Dissenting

Antonin Scalia


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

28 May 1996


The decision of the lower court was vacated and remanded for a full review of the facts.

Related Cases

  • Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968).
  • New York v. Belton, 453 U.S. 454 (1981).
  • Nix v. Williams, 467 U.S. 431 (1984).
  • California v. Acevedo, 500 U.S. 565 (1991).


Wallentine, Ken. "Introductory Canine Search and Seizure." http://www.minn.net/uspca.

Further Readings

  • Lee, Cynthia K. Y. "A New `Sliding Scale of Deference' Approach to Abuse of Discretion." American Criminal Law Review, fall 1997, p. 1.
  • Reuben, Richard C. "Police Under the Gun: Search and Seizure on the Docket Amid Tensions Over Police Conduct." ABA Journal, June 1996, p. 44.
  • Slansky, David A. "Traffic Stops, Minority Motorists, and the Future of the Fourth Amendment." Supreme Court Review, annual 1997, p. 271.
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