More Power for Police
In opinions so spare that the Supreme Court did not labor long to produce them, the Justices on Monday unanimously expanded the control that police can exercise at the scene of roadside traffic stops, and, again without dissent, pushed up the chain-of-command in prosecutors’ offices total immunity to liability for decisions made in preparing criminal cases for trial. The first ruling was an enlargement of “stop and frisk” authority, the second was a reinterpretation of when prosecutors’ supervisors do administrative tasks.
With fewer than four full pages of analysis in a nine-page opinion, the Court decided that police may order a passenger out of a stopped vehicle, and then conduct a “pat-down search” (a frisk) if they have reason to believe that the rider may be armed and dangerous. (In this particular, it was assumed that the officer involved had such a reason, but that could be tested when the case returns to Arizona state courts.)
Labels: good news