Whren v. United States
Significance, A Routine Traffic Stop?, Lower Court Rulings, Use Of Pretext To Enable A Search
Michael A. Whren, James L. Brown
That evidence discovered and seized by police during a minor traffic stop was inadmissible in court given Fourth Amendment prohibitions against unreasonable search and seizure.
Chief Lawyers for Petitioners
A.J. Kramer, G. Allen Dale, Neil H. Jaffee, Lisa Burget Wright
Chief Lawyers for Respondent
Drew S. Days, U. S. Solicitor General; John C. Kenney, Acting Assistant Attorney General
Justices for the Court
Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Anthony M. Kennedy, Sandra Day O'Connor, William H. Rehnquist, Antonin Scalia (writing for the Court), David H. Souter, John Paul Stevens, Clarence Thomas
Date of Decision
10 June 1996
Denied the petitioners' claim and affirmed the decisions of the trial court and court of appeals, ruling that probable cause to believe that a traffic violation has occurred is sufficient justification for the police to stop a vehicle and conduct a search for objects in plain view within that vehicle.
The War on Drugs
Beginning in the early 1980s, the Court interpreted Fourth Amendment prohibitions against unreasonable search and seizure so as to increase the ability of law enforcement authorities to obtain evidence against criminal suspects. This tendency has been particularly apparent in cases involving the trade in illegal drugs, and has generally mirrored public sentiment.
- United States v. Brignoni-Ponce, 422 U.S. 873 (1975).
- United States v. Martinez Fuerte, 428 U.S. 543 (1976).
- Pennsylvania v. Mimms, 434 U.S. 106 (1977).
- Delaware v. Prouse, 440 U.S. 648 (1979).
- Biskupic, Joan, and Elder Witt. Guide to the U.S. Supreme Court. Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly Inc., 1997.
- Rights, Liberties, and Justice Home Page: Institutional Powers Home Page: Short Course Home Page. http://voter96.cqalert.com/mall/case6.html.
- Wilson v. Arkansas - Set Up, A Fourth Amendment Violation?, Common Law, Mitigating Circumstances, Impact
- Washington v. Glucksberg - Significance, Washington Law Challenged, Jack Kevorkian, Further Readings
- Whren v. United States - Significance
- Whren v. United States - A Routine Traffic Stop?
- Whren v. United States - Lower Court Rulings
- Whren v. United States - Use Of Pretext To Enable A Search
- Whren v. United States - Impact
- Other Free Encyclopedias