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Amicus Brief: Kansas v. Glover

The Rutherford Institute is challenging the police practice of stopping cars registered to unlicensed owners, whether or not the owners are behind the wheel (such vehicles are often driven by licensed family members and friends) and in the absence of specific wrongdoing.

In an amicus curiae brief filed with the Supreme Court in State of Kansas v. Glover, Rutherford Institute attorneys argue that allowing police to stop a vehicle anytime the registered owner is unlicensed gives police too much leeway to violate the standards established by the Fourth Amendment requiring particularized and articulable evidence that the specific individual being stopped has, is, or soon will be engaged in unlawful conduct.

Affiliate attorneys D. Alicia Hickok, Mark D. Taticchi and Victoria L. Andrews of Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP, in Philadelphia, Pa., assisted The Rutherford Institute in advancing the arguments in Glover.

“This kind of traffic stop contributes to what I call ‘blank check policing,’ in which police officers have been given free range to pull anyone over for a variety of dubious reasons, as long as they can provide a palatable pretext for doing so,” said constitutional attorney John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute and author of Battlefield America: The War on the American People. “This free-handed approach to traffic stops—frequently sanctioned by the U.S. Supreme Court—has resulted in drivers being stopped for windows that are too heavily tinted, for driving too fast, driving too slow, failing to maintain speed, following too closely, improper lane changes, distracted driving, screeching a car’s tires, and leaving a parked car door open for too long.’”


September 13, 2019 • Blank Check Policing: Cops Stop Cars Registered to Unlicensed Owners, Whether or Not Owners Are Behind the Wheel


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