Monday, April 28, 2008

Not making a federal case of it

Here's a link to the Register's editorial on the Virginia v. Moore Supreme Court case, where a guy arrested for a minor traffic violation was illegally (under Va. law, which mandates cite-and-release) arrested and in the course of the illegal arrest the cops found cocaine and about $500. He was charged with possession for sale and convicted. I figured it was one of those cases where the Supremes expanded the drug-war exception to the Fourth Amendment (and the fact that Va. appealed a decision by its own Supreme Court to suppress the evidence it may have been to some extent at the state level). But I found it was more convoluted, and was really a federalism case. The high court said it was inappropriate for the state to use the Fourth to invalidate the conviction because that would leave it vulnerable to having 50 different definitions. The 9-0 decision was probably justified. Darn it.

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