2/3/12. The NJ Supreme Court issued a joint order today in four combined cases that sought to have to court do a back flip on Pena Flores where the Court had previously ruled that the police generally need at least a telephonic warrant to do most car searches. The State alleged that Pena Flores has been too big a burden on law enforcement and has resulted in less detection of criminal conduct. They supported this with NJ State Police (NJSP) data. That the court found was a fatal flaw. The court said it might reconsider if true statewide data is presented in the future.
I wonder if the court knew of the NJSP memo instructing troopers how to avoid Pena Flores by obtaining more consents? It would explain their lack of confidence in the NJSP data. Well, anyway Pena survives intact despite speculation as to why the court had granted cert on these cases. Now we know.