Court leans toward tribal police in traffic stop and search
March 24, 2021
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court seemed likely Tuesday to allow tribal police officers to stop and search non-Indians on tribal lands over concerns that drunk drivers or even violent criminals might otherwise elude authorities.
The justices heard arguments in the Justice Department's appeal of a lower court ruling that threw out evidence of drug-related crimes from the search of a non-Native motorist's pickup truck by a tribal officer on a public road that crosses the Crow reservation in Montana.
The case involves a traffic stop in 2016 in which Officer James Saylor of the Crow Tribe Police Department came upon a pickup truck with its headlights on and motor running, parked on the shoulder of U.S. Route 212.