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Word Count: 756
Cars and the fourth amendment 6-28-99 You should be forgiven for any sneaking suspicions you may have that the nine elders in black dresses who have the final word on matters legal in the US dont spend much time driving After all the Supreme Court cant seem to get enough of stripping Fourth Amendment protections from Americans favorite mode of transportation Any more decisions like Maryland v Dyson and we may be forced to drive vehicles as transparent as Wonder Womans invisible airplane In the recent case the justices addressed the concerns of Kevin Darnell Dyson a known drug dealer in St Marys County Maryland County sheriffs deputies received a tip from a reliable confidential informant that respondent had gone to New York to buy drugs When Dyson was later spotted in a rented red Toyota Corolla the cops summarily pulled him over tossed his car and found 23 grams of crack in the trunk Now nothing in the available information suggests that Dyson was a pillar of the community He may well have been a professional drug dealer the rights and wrongs of drug prohibition are a matter for another article and crack after all was found in his car But in deciding that the boys in blue of St Marys County Maryland were just hunky-dory in pulling Tyson over and giving his car the third degree the Supremes havent just opened the door to police abuse theyve taken a chainsaw to the frame to make the opening wider In this case the police claimed to be acting on a confidential tip they had a full day of lead time and they still didnt bother to run their evidence by the hangingest judge in the county for the courtesy of a warrant What does that say about the quality of the information in the case According to the court documents the evidence amounted to the cops word and the probable cause
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