By legitimizing the conduct that produces this double
consciousness, this case tells everyone, white and black,
guilty and innocent, that an officer can verify your legal
status at any time. It says that your body is subject to
invasion while courts excuse the violation of your rights.
It implies that you are not a citizen of a democracy but the
subject of a carceral state, just waiting to be cataloged.We must not pretend that the countless people who are
routinely targeted by police are “isolated.” They are the
canaries in the coal mine whose deaths, civil and literal,
warn us that no one can breathe in this atmosphere. See
L. Guinier & G. Torres, The Miner’s Canary 274–283
(2002). They are the ones who recognize that unlawful
police stops corrode all our civil liberties and threaten all
our lives. Until their voices matter too, our justice system
will continue to be anything but.

joins as to Parts I, II, and III, dissenting. Utah v Strieff, decided June 20, 2016.

(link to pdf: Sotomayor’s dissent is pp. 14-25)


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