“I don’t want no drug sniffing dogs around here,” said Ms. P. Innuckope (not her real name). “I got nuff trouble with human junkies without them bringing their pets.”
Ms. Innuckope was one of many that were relieved when the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the decision of the Florida Supreme Court to restrict the right of dogs to sniff for drugs in a neighborhood. “Let them junkies do their own damn sniffing,” she remarked.
The decision was a close one, with justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor forming a majority in the 5-4 ruling. However, a high source in the Florida Attorney General’s Office objected (on condition of anonymity and without specifying how high) that Justice Thomas should have recused himself on the grounds of conflict of interest.
Also dismayed was the Canine Rights Advocates Panel (CRAP), which argued that dogs should have the right to sniff in the same places as humans, and in fact that humans should be able to sniff wherever dogs do, as well.
Some observers expressed surprise that conservative justice Scalia, who wrote the majority opinion, would rule in favor of humans and against dogs. However, Miami federal defense lawyer David O. Markus disagreed. “…they are barking up the wrong tree because of all the Supreme Court justices, Antonin Scalia is the defendant’s ‘best friend’.” [Yes, he really said that.]