American Judges Association
The Constitutional Stopping of Motor Vehicles in Canada and the United States: A Comparative Analysis
Date of this Version
Court Review - Volume 56
When can the police constitutionally stop a motor vehicle in the United States of America and Canada? In this column, I intend to examine this question through a comparative analysis that considers the law in both countries. As will be seen, the power of the police to stop a motor vehicle in Canada is significantly greater than the power of the police to do so in the United States.
I intend to illustrate this proposition by considering the most recent decision of the Supreme Court of the United States on this issue (Kanas v. Glover, 140 S.Ct. 1183 (2020)), and then the law in Canada. I will also consider how Glover would likely have been decided in Canada. Finally, I will end by considering how the issue of “racial profiling” has affected the stopping of motorists by the police in Canada. Let us start with the facts in Glover.
Used by permission.