Chief Justice John Roberts Has Never Been Pulled Over: Rodriguez v. United States and Limits on Policing.
In a little-noticed hearing last month, the Supreme Court considered Rodriguez v. United States, a case involving the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable searches and seizures. The core issue the justices confronted was how long a police officer could extend a routine traffic stop for purposes of calling in the dogs—drug-sniffing dogs.
At first blush, the question seems uncomplicated and slightly mundane. Who cares about police canines? The vast majority of drivers aren’t wont to be drug kingpins or to carry illegal contraband in their cars. But the Fourth Amendment doesn’t exist to protect drug traffickers; it protects everyone from police overreach. Whatever the court decides on any Fourth Amendment case—the court accepts a number of them every year—should matter to everyone.