The Daily Reporter's May 13th column "The license plate game" quoted a state trooper, a sheriff, and a police chief for their opinions about a recent Iowa Supreme Court case, "State v. Harrison" 12-0139 (filed May 2, 2014).
The 5-2 opinion in Harrison upheld a traffic stop of a citizen by police based upon the license plate holder covering the name of the county on the plate. I encourage all those who really do value their liberties and rights to read the opinion including the dissent, in which Justice Appel (joined by Justice Hecht) wrote:
"In the meantime, the take-away point for Iowa citizens is that they better go out to the garage and check their license plate frames if they want to avoid being pulled over by law enforcement on the open road. For the thousands of Iowans who have a frame that promotes a sports team, or an auto dealer, or have a nice (or not so nice) slogan, beware! If the license plate frame happens to obscure the county name on the plate, the State will take the position that police may stop the vehicle anywhere and at any time, whether one is dropping the kids off at school, returning home from the football game, or on the way to work, without any further sign of criminal wrongdoing. The State will likely take the position that the decision to stop a vehicle will rest in the unreviewable discretion of the police regardless of pretext. Sounds a bit like a general warrant, doesn't it? See State v. Ochoa, 792 N.W.2d 260, 269-73 (Iowa 2010) (discussing the desire of the framers of the Fourth Amendment to reject the general warrants authorized by the British Crown)."
Pretextual traffic stops such as this should be prohibited. Statistics prove that the majority of these pretextual stops are made upon minority drivers.
Read the opinion. But first, remove that license plate holder if it in any way obscures the numbering or name of the county on the plate. Let's keep on rockin' in the free world.