A traffic stop in Kansas could have serious ramifications all over the United States, including Alabama, as the case is now headed to the Supreme Court.
The issue is whether or not the officer had a right to pull the driver over in the first place. The officer saw the pickup truck and decided to run the plates, even though no traffic infraction had taken place. When he did, he found out that the man who owned that truck had a revoked license. Assuming that the man behind the wheel was the same one with the revoked license, the officer initiated a stop and gave him a ticket.
The driver protested that there was no reason for the stop, something police officers are required to have. The case got to the Kansas Supreme Court, which agreed with the driver, saying that the stop was unreasonable. However, the Kansas Attorney General then decided to appeal, which put the case before the U.S. Supreme Court.
“I am encouraged by the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to hear our appeal to help bring clarity to this aspect of the law,” the Attorney General said. “Numerous other state supreme courts and federal courts have ruled it is reasonable for an officer to suspect the registered owner of a vehicle is the person driving their car. We look forward to making our argument before the justices in the fall.”
Many case seizure cases simply start with a traffic stop. It is important to understand whether or not that initial stop was legal, as all evidence gathered after an illegal stop may be suspect. It will be important to keep an eye on this case and the precedent it sets.