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Nine years after the terrorist attacks of 2001, the United States is assembling a vast domestic intelligence apparatus to collect information about Americans, using the FBI, local police, state homeland security offices and military criminal investigators.
The system, by far the largest and most technologically sophisticated in the nation's history, collects, stores and analyzes information about thousands of U.S. citizens and residents, many of whom have not been accused of any wrongdoing.
Our modern age appears to look like something more and more out of "V for Vendetta" or "1984" by the day.
A traffic stop is a temporary detention of a driver of a vehicle by police to investigate a possible crime or civil infraction. In constitutional law in the United States, a traffic stop is considered to be a subset of the Terry stop; the standard set by the United States Supreme Court in Terry v. Ohio regarding temporary detentions requires only reasonable suspicion that a crime has occurred or is about to occur...
In Delaware v. Prouse, 440 U.S. 648 (1979), the United States Supreme Court ruled that the police stopping vehicles for no reason other than to check the drivers' licenses and registrations was unconstitutional.
In New York v. Belton, 453 U.S. 454 (1981), the United States Supreme court ruled that when a police officer has made a lawful arrest of a driver, he may search the passenger area of the vehicle without obtaining a warrant.
In Michigan Dept. of State Police v. Sitz, 496 U.S. 444 (1990), the United States Supreme Court ruled that the use of sobriety checkpoints was constitutional.
In Illinois v. Caballes, 543 U.S. 405 (2005), the United States Supreme Court held that the use of a drug-sniffing dog during a routine traffic stop does not unreasonably prolong the length of the stop so as to violate the Fourth Amendment.
In Arizona v. Gant, (2008), the United States Supreme Court ruled that an officer must demonstrate a threat to their safety or a need to preserve evidence related to the crime of arrest in order to search a vehicle pursuant to an arrest, distinguishing New York v. Belton.
"The 'routine traffic stop' from start to finish: too much 'routine,' not enough Fourth Amendment," Michigan Law Review 102, no. 8 (August 2004): 1843-1906. Professor LaFave points out that most courts have treated traffic stops like Terry stops, but the U.S. Supreme Court itself has never squarely decided the issue of whether traffic stops require probable cause or the lesser reasonable suspicion standard of Terry.