In Rodriguez v. United States, No. 13-9972 (2015), the U.S. Supreme Court held that, absent reasonable suspicion, unnecessarily prolonging a traffic stop can constitute an unreasonable seizure. In a 6–3 majority opinion authored by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Court rejected the Eighth Circuit’s holding that a de minimis extension of a traffic stop could be justified under the Fourth Amendment.
In 2012, Nebraska police stopped Dennys Rodriguez for driving on the shoulder of the highway. The officer conducted a routine traffic stop, including questioning Rodriguez and his passenger and conducting a records check. After issuing him a traffic warning, the officer asked Rodriguez for permission to walk his narcotics-detecting canine around the perimeter of the vehicle. When Rodriguez refused to consent, the officer ordered him out of the vehicle and detained him. About seven minutes later, another officer arrived. Police conducted the canine search without consent, and the dog indicated that drugs were located in the vehicle. Rodriguez was charged with one count of possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine.