I find myself agreeing with the dissent.
While the court held that the initial stop was unconstitutional, due to lack of reasonable suspicion, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote for the majority that overturned the Utah Supreme Court and held that because the arrest warrant was valid, the evidence was admissible.
Thomas portrayed the incident as the result of a couple “at most negligent” mistakes on the part of the officer, and downplayed its broader significance.
“There is no indication that this unlawful stop was part of any systemic or recurrent police misconduct,” he wrote. “To the contrary, all the evidence suggests that the stop was an isolated instance of negligence that occurred in connection with a bona fide investigation of a suspected drug house.”
But Sotomayor said the case was anything but minor.
“Do not be soothed by the opinion’s technical language: This case allows the police to stop you on the street, demand your identification, and check it for outstanding traffic warrants — even if you are doing nothing wrong,” she wrote.