STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA HIGH COURT VACATES STATE CONSTITUTION: RULE OF LAW COLLAPSES INTO RULE OF MEN
(Jack Mullen) The State of Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently ruled that probable cause is all that is required to search an automobile during a traffic stop. The decision effectively ends the process of requiring a warrant to search a vehicle unless there is probable cause and exigent circumstances.
Further the Pennsylvania High Court’s decision overrides Pennsylvania’s own Declaration of Rights in State Constitution Article I, Section 8. Article 8 stating :
“The people shall be secure in their persons, houses, papers and possessions from unreasonable searches and seizures, and no warrant to search any place or to seize any person or things shall issue without describing them as nearly as may be, nor without probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation subscribed by the affiant.”[A]
In Contrast to the Constitution for the United States, the Pennsylvania Declaration of Rights adds further protections stating people shall be secure from unreasonable searches and seizures in their persons, houses, papers and possessions. Further the Pennsylvania Constitution states no warrant shall be issued to search any place or seize any person or things without describing them as nearly as may be and without probable cause.