Recently Cedar Grove cops set up a DWI sobriety checkpoint in Essex County, New Jersey. During a six hour period, 1,450 vehicles passed through the area, per the news. But the cops did not arrest one driver for driving while intoxicated. I have to tell you, this warms the very cockels of my heart. This is especially heartwarming because officers conducted field sobriety tests on seven drivers who “exhibited signs of intoxication.” But they did not arrest anyone for DWI. And it’s as if Police Chief Joseph Cirasa read my mind. He claims this was a resounding success! With no arrests to show, he claims the goal was to deter. Read More
I have blogged about New Jersey v. T.L.O.1, Michigan v. Long2, and State of New Jersey v. Lund.3 Those blog posts explained the holding and reasoning of the majority in each case. This post, however, will go to the heart of judicial power: using the law. Nowadays this issue seems to be especially important. Indeed, the news extensively covered one of President Trump’s executive orders banning Muslims from entering the United States. And after Trump criticized a judge for blocking the order, some people defended that judge and the judiciary as an independent branch of government.
Known as “Separation of Powers” doctrine, Read more
Previously I blogged about Michigan v. Long.1 The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) broke new ground under federal law with respect to two issues in Long: SCOTUS review of state court decisions, and Terry searches of cars. With respect to its jurisdiction to review decisions based on adequate and independent state grounds, SCOTUS articulated a “plain statement” rule for state courts to follow. Additionally, with respect to the Fourth Amendment, SCOTUS applied Terry v. Ohio 2 to protective searches of cars, requiring proof of a reasonable belief about the presence of weapons. This blog post will look at Read more
Previously I blogged about New Jersey v. T.L.O. 1 The focus of this post, State of New Jersey v. Best 2 applies T.L.O. to a warrantless car search on school property by a school official. The United States Supreme Court in T.L.O. addressed whether the exclusionary rule applies to evidence seized by a school official without police involvement in juvenile delinquency proceedings. SCOTUS answered this question in the affirmative.
Notwithstanding the State’s position that school officials act as surrogates for the actual parents (in loco parentis), the Court decided they are State Actors. Indeed, by rejecting the State’s position, SCOTUS reasoned the breadth and Read more
“Stop and Frisk” As National Policy?
State and federal law protect individuals from unreasonable government intrusion. Thus, “stop and frisk” is an exception to the law, not the general rule. The no-nonsense tough-talk appearance of a national stop and frisk policy might appeal to some people. But the right to be left alone is more important—and that’s no bull! It is the law. Consequently, judges, prosecutors, and defense lawyers take it seriously. Read more
First, this will set forth the general standards under state law.
Next, this will explain standing under federal law.
Finally, this will define the particular categories for standing under state law. Read more