Brendlin v. California - Oral Argument - April 23, 2007 Page 21

Brendlin v. California

Media for Brendlin v. California

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - June 18, 2007 in Brendlin v. California

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - April 23, 2007 in Brendlin v. California

Elizabeth M. Campbell:


But... but under the rule proposed by the State if there had been a passenger that passenger would not have been seized.

But if we look at how this Court--

Anthony M. Kennedy:

Well, but I mean in the case it's just not directly on point.

That's what we are arguing about.

Elizabeth M. Campbell:

--Yes, Your Honor.

But if we look at the case next in line case, the County of Sacramento versus Lewis case, there was a passenger in that case who was struck by the officer in the pursuit, and although the Court found no seizure it didn't base that on the fact that the person was a passenger, but on the fact that it was an accidental application of force.

Anthony M. Kennedy:

So that's just another case that doesn't help us.

Elizabeth M. Campbell:

I think it certainly informs the discussion, Your Honor.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg:

But what of the question that was raised about well, a passenger is locked in for the moment, but so are all the cars that are backed up behind the car that's been stopped?

What's the difference between the passenger--

Elizabeth M. Campbell:

In that case, Your Honor, there hasn't been an intentional impeding of those people's free, free movement by the officer.

The officer has intentionally stopped this vehicle.

And I... I don't think it's really, it's really far-fetched to argue that it's reasonably foreseeable that automobiles often have passengers in them, and there is certainly a large body of statutory law at least in California that shows that the car can be stopped for reasons related to the passenger.

So it's, it's a different situation.

We are not looking at an accidental seizure.

We are looking at an intentional seizure of the car.

Just to address for a moment whether or not remand is appropriate in this case, just to clarify the procedural posture.

The intermediate appellate court in California did rule this, that the evidence seized in this case was the fruit of the poisonous tree and should be suppressed.

The California Supreme Court did not grant review on that issue and it was not, it's not included in the question presented.

Just for clarification.

But if the--

John G. Roberts, Jr.:

The California Supreme Court didn't have to reach that issue because it found there was no seizure.

Elizabeth M. Campbell:


The court did not... did not actually request briefing on the issue either.

Thank you.

John G. Roberts, Jr.:

Thank you, Counsel.

The case is submitted.