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SCOTUS to address whether cops can stop a vehicle just because its owner’s license was revoked

Kansas v. Glover, USSC No. 18-556, certiorari granted 4/1/19

Question presented:

Whether, for purposes of an investigative stop under the Fourth Amendment, it is reasonable for an officer to suspect that the registered owner of a vehicle is the one driving the vehicle absent any information to the contrary.

USSC docket; SCOTUSblog page (including links to briefs and commentary)

According to the Stat of Kansas’s cert petition: “A Kansas officer ran a registration check on a pickup truck and learned that the registered owner’s license had been revoked. Suspecting that the owner was unlawfully driving, the officer stopped the truck, confirmed that the owner was driving, and issued the owner a citation for being a habitual violator of Kansas traffic laws. The Kansas Supreme Court, breaking with 12 state supreme courts and 4 federal circuits, held the stop violated the Fourth Amendment.”

The cert petition says Wisconsin is one of the 12 state state supreme courts that have held that this stop would not violate the 4th Amendment and cites State v. Smith, 2018  WI 2, 379 Wis. 2d 86, 905 N.W.2d 353, 359 (2018)(cert denied). That’s not actually what Smith held. See our post here.  Still, this is an important case. Glover argues that the 4th Amendment does not permit police to seize a motorist when the only thing the officer knows is that the motorist is driving a vehicle registered to a person whose license has been revoked.

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