The “Routine Traffic Stop” from Start to Finish: Too Much “Routine,” Not Enough Fourth Amendment

Yale Kamisar, about which I have said too much elsewhere in this issue of the Review, could rightly be called “Mr. Confessions,” for he has not only authored books and a host of articles on the subject of police interrogation, but for years has been printing Miranda cards in his basement and selling them to police departments all across the nation. Moreover, he may be the only law professor in the country who has both personally coerced a confession and had a confession coerced out of him. As Kamisar has himself noted, my own “intellectual sandbox” has been the field of search and seizure, which has occupied much of my attention for virtually all of my professional life. Among my endeavors in that regard is a treatise on the subject, now in its five-volume third edition, in which I have “created” (in the Frankensteinian sense) a 1,687,149-word exceptionally execrable excrescence upon the 54-word Fourth Amendment. Such efforts notwithstanding, I have understandably not had this “sandbox” to myself; there is no way I could claim exclusive rights to an entire amendment to the Constitution. Indeed, there were footprints in the sandbox upon my very first visit, most prominently those of Yale Kamisar, and he has often revisited since my arrival, all to my benefit. I have read and reread Yale’s many contributions to this area, and have profited greatly from the insights I have gained from them. That being the case, when the Review asked if I would do a Fourth Amendment piece for this issue honoring Yale Kamisar, I accepted immediately.