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Fourth Amendment: Passengers and Police Stops

This activity explores individuals rights during police traffic stops by examining the Supreme Court case Brendlin v. California, 551 U.S. __, 127 S. Ct. 2400 (2007). Participants will answer the question: Does the Fourth Amendment protect the passengers in a car from unreasonable search and seizure during a traffic stop and give the passengers the right to challenge the stop?

About these Resources

How to Use These Resources

This activity is a modified Oxford style debate.

  1. To get started, have participants read the Brendlin v. California facts and case summary.
  2. Assign student attorneys to the issues listed in the talking points. They are suggested points– not a script–for the debate. Student attorneys are encouraged to add their own arguments.
  3. All other students are jurors who deliberate (and may refer to these talking points) during the open floor debate. They debate among themselves in the large group or smaller groups and come to a verdict after the attorneys present closing arguments.