Florida v. Bostick: Abandonment of Reason in Fourth Amendment Reasonable Person Analysis
Heuerman, James F.
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This note examines the United States Supreme Court's decision which addressed the constitutionality of "bus sweeps" -- random suspicionless police questioning of interstate bus travelers. The Court concluded that a reasonable bus passenger could feel free to disregard police questioning, and accordingly found that not all such encounters are entitled to Fourth Amendment scrutiny. The author explores the Court's decision and contends that only by severely underestimating the inherent coercion in such encounters was the Court able to avoid the intuitive conclusion that passengers are "seized" during such questioning.