This Article discusses the issue of pretext and whether evidence discovered by way of a pretext violate the Fourth Amendment's injunction against unreasonable searches and seizures. The author begins by examining what a pretext is, concluding that a pretext is a way of criticizing an action that had a motive that is incompatible with the ordinary, conventional reasons for the action. The author then discusses pretextual police action and the Supreme Court case of Whren v. US 's failure to acknowledge what counts as pretext. The author goes on to discuss the Supreme Court case of Arkansas v. Sullivan and tries to correct the failures of Sullivan by distinguishing motives from intentions as the essential element in determining whether a search or seizure is pretextual as opposed to unconstitutional.
Daniel Y. Yeager,
The Stubbornness of Pretexts,
San Diego L. Rev.
Available at: https://digital.sandiego.edu/sdlr/vol40/iss2/4