Court decrees: obeying the law not suspicious

See Lowering the Bar, one of my absolute favorite blogs.

I’ve often wondered if one could be pulled over for driving at or under the speed limit. After all, everyone drives a little faster than the speed limit. The only reason to drive under the speed limit would be to avoid being pulled over by the police. And the only people who want to avoid being pulled over by the police are… criminals. Right?

Well, apparently a court has ruled that driving with both hands on the wheel (the way the driver’s ed teacher told you to) is not probable cause for a search. And better news: that multiple things that don’t constitute probable cause don’t, by virtue of there being many of them, add up to probable cause.

I’m certainly on board with the idea that there are perfectly-legal activities that taken together form a pattern that indicates that illegal activity is going on. There’s nothing at all illegal about buying rope, bleach, duct tape, trash bags, a ski mask, and a shovel at the same time, but part of me hopes that an officer observing this is at least justified in asking a question or two about the purpose of the murder home improvement kit.

Nevertheless, it is quite encouraging to learn that I don’t have to worry about being pulled over if I accidentally slow below 65mph on the freeway.

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