The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments in a Kansas case involving a law enforcement officer's authority to make a traffic stop based on who owns the vehicle.
In the case in question, a police officer on patrol checked the registration of a pickup truck and discovered the truck was owned by a man whose license was revoked.
The officer didn't observe a traffic infraction and had no other reason for pulling the vehicle over. The driver was the owner, and the officer issued him a citation for driving with his license revoked.
Last year, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled it was unreasonable to make a traffic stop without more information. Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt appealed the ruling.
“I am encouraged by the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to hear our appeal to help bring clarity to this aspect of the law,” Schmidt said. “Numerous other state supreme courts and federal courts have ruled it is reasonable for an officer to suspect the registered owner of a vehicle is the person driving their car. We look forward to making our argument before the justices in the fall.”
The A.G.'s office is prepared to argue two other cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, which agreed to hear the state's appeal to rulings in death penalty and identity theft cases.