Stevens Issues Sarcastic Dissent in Chase Case
Posted May 1, 2007 7:44 AM CST
By Debra Cassens Weiss
Justice John Paul Stevens was the lone—and sarcastic—dissenter in yesterday’s Supreme Court decision barring liability for a sheriff’s deputy who rammed a fleeing car, causing an accident that paralyzed the driver.
The majority opinion by Justice Antonin Scalia highlighted a videotape of the car chase that showed the dangers created by the fleeing driver, the New York Times reports.
But Stevens said the court was usurping the fact-finding function of the jury and sarcastically referred to the other justices as “my colleagues on the jury.”
Joshua Dressler, an Ohio State University law professor and expert on the Fourth Amendment, told the Wall Street Journal that the trend had been for police departments to limit chases of fleeing vehicles. But now officers may feel free to pursue such chases, he says, resulting in even faster speeds.