Vanderbilt Law Review

First Page



Adzan Bedonie is a Navajo woman who speaks no English, holds tightly to traditional Navajo beliefs, and lives in a one-room hogan on the wrong side of the line drawn by a federal court to partition Navajo and Hopi lands.' The law that mandates her relocation and thus threatens to sever what for her is a spiritual connection to the land on which she lives offers a potential escape route: Congress provided for a limited number of life estates for older individuals subject to relocation. But Adzan Bedonie, like most elderly Navajo, has not applied for a life estate, because traditional Navajo beliefs preclude any discussion of one's death or of preparation for it. Hodari D., a young black man who lives in Oakland, California, was standing with three or four of his friends one spring evening when they were approached by two police officers; all of the young men ran away. Hodari was pursued on foot by one of the officers, was seen to discard a small rock that proved to be crack cocaine, and was captured a moment later. The Supreme Court ruled against Hodari's attempt to suppress the cocaine as evidence, on the ground that Hodari had not been "seized" within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment when he saw the officer running toward him.5 Writing for the Court, Justice Scalia suggested as well that the State's concession that it lacked the reasonable suspicion necessary to justify stopping Hodari was overly hasty: "That it would be unreasonable to stop, for brief inquiry, young men who scatter in panic upon the mere sighting of the police ... arguably contradicts proverbial common sense.