by Don Samuel
Kansas v. Glover poses such a simple question: Can a police officer stop a car driving down the road if the officer knows that the car is owned by a driver whose license has been suspended, but the officer does not know who is actually driving the car? Stated in somewhat more legal terms: Does a police officer have a recognizable articulable suspicion to stop a car with an unknown driver, if the registered owner of the car does not have a valid driver’s license? We spend most of our time evaluating questions of probable cause and articulable suspicion by weighing the totality of the circumstances. Various pluses and minuses are tabulated to determine whether the totality equals probable cause or an articulable suspicion. Not in this case. There is no “totality” to evaluate. There is just one fact: The car is registered to a driver whose license has been suspended.
Yet, as simple as the question seems to be, there are problems with the method of reaching an answer that the Court must address:
We await the decision in Kansas v. Glover.