On Tuesday, October 14, 2008, the United States Supreme Court decided not to review Pennsylvania v. Dunlap.

In Commonwealth v. Dunlap, 941 A.2d 671 (Pa. 2007), Nathan Dunlap was charged and convicted of drug offenses after Philadelphia Police observed him engage in drug transactions. The officer testified that he saw Dunlap exchange several “small objects”for money. The officer said that in view of his training and experience and the nature of the neighborhood, he believed that he witnessed a drug transaction. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that, based upon the facts of the case, the police officer did not have probable cause to arrest and search Dunlap.

US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, in a slightly unconventional dissenting opinion that was joined by Justice Kennedy, disagreed with the PA Supreme Court and concluded that the police officer had probable cause to arrest and search Dunlap.

To read Chief Justice Roberts’ witty dissenting opinion, go to:

http://www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/08pdf/07-1486.pdf