The town council of a small Kentucky town of 1850 residents passed a law requiring everyone who lives in town to buy a $10 car sticker.
Local teachers decided to ignore the law.
The town then set up roadblocks. The police checked each car for a sticker.
Meanwhile, a wave of burglaries swept the town, because the police were otherwise occupied.
OK, I made that up.
So, here were the city’s finest, wasting their time and drivers’ time checking for $10 stickers.
One man was stopped. Police found marijuana in his car. He was arrested. He moved to dismiss the case. There was no probable cause. So, it was a violation of the 4th amendment.
So, everyone called in the lawyers. The case got into the court system. The Circuit Court sided with the defendant. The town appealed. Then the Court of Appeals said, sure, fine, no problem, nail him. The man appealed. The state supreme court declared the whole thing a violation of rights.
The lawyers smiled all the way to the bank, as lawyers always do.
The Supreme Court said. “We also recall that the initial concern that sparked the need for the checkpoint was the report that some teachers had failed to pay the sticker fee. That concern could have been addressed by means far less intrusive than a traffic checkpoint. For example, police officers could have simply walked through the school parking lot and cited cars without a sticker.”
The dummies who passed the law probably spent far more of the town’s money in enforcing the law in court than the law generated in revenues.
The defendant is no doubt a lot poorer.
And a good time was had by all . . . lawyers.