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Michigan v. Long

United States Supreme Court
463 U.S. 1032 (1983)


Facts

David Long (defendant) was stopped by police. Although police did not have probable cause for an arrest, they did have reason to believe that the car Long was driving might have dangerous weapons inside. Thus, police conducted a protective search of the passenger area and trunk of the car. Police discovered marijuana during the search, and Long was charged with possession. Long moved to suppress the marijuana found in the car, but the trial court denied the motion. Long was convicted. Long’s appeal reached the Michigan Supreme Court, which reversed on the ground that the search went beyond that permitted by Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968). The Michigan Supreme Court concluded that the marijuana was therefore fruit of the poisonous tree and suppressed the evidence. The State of Michigan appealed to the United States Supreme Court. Long argued that the U.S. Supreme Court had no jurisdiction to review the ruling, because the Michigan Supreme Court’s decision rested on independent and adequate state grounds.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (O’Connor, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
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  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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Dissent (Stevens, J.)

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