The Pretext Search Doctrine: Now You See It, Now You Don’t

One can only hope, to put it bluntly, that the Supreme Court majority in Villamonte-Marquez did not mean what it seemed to have said. Indeed, there is some evidence that this is precisely the case. In the same Term Villamonte-Marquez was decided, the Court also decided Texas v. Brown. In Brown, the Supreme Court continued to recognize and respond to the problem of pretext searches. In other words, the Court still acts as if the pretext search doctrine remains vital, despite the apparent body blow delivered to it in Scott and Villamonte-Marquez. The remainder of this Article elaborates upon the points sketched above, once again attempting to “sound the alarm” about the destruction of the pretext search doctrine, this time with just a bit more evidence – and a bit more volume. This Article also makes the case for a resuscitated pretext doctrine, one that would truly serve as an effective check against attempts to juridically “sweep under the rug” allegations of police misconduct.