Illinois v. Wardlow

Illinois v. Wardlow, 528 U.S. 119 (2000), is a case decided before the United States Supreme Court involving U.S. criminal procedure regarding searches and seizures.

Illinois v. Wardlow
Argued November 2, 1999
Decided January 12, 2000
Full case nameIllinois, Petitioner v. William aka Sam Wardlow
Citations528 U.S. 119 (more)
120 S. Ct. 673; 145 L. Ed. 2d 570; 2000 U.S. LEXIS 504
Case history
Prior183 Ill. 2d 306, 701 N.E.2d 484 (1998)
The police had reasonable suspicion to justify the stop because nervous, evasive behavior, like fleeing a high crime area upon noticing police officers, is a pertinent factor in determining reasonable suspicion to justify a stop
Court membership
Chief Justice
William Rehnquist
Associate Justices
John P. Stevens · Sandra Day O'Connor
Antonin Scalia · Anthony Kennedy
David Souter · Clarence Thomas
Ruth Bader Ginsburg · Stephen Breyer
Case opinions
MajorityRehnquist, joined by O'Connor, Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas
DissentStevens, joined by Souter, Ginsburg, Breyer
Laws applied
U.S. Const. amend. IV


In an opinion delivered by Chief Justice William Rehnquist, the Supreme Court held in a 5 to 4 decision that the police had reasonable suspicion to justify the stop.


Justice John Paul Stevens argued in dissent that the government did not articulate enough facts to establish reasonable suspicion and that there were not enough facts in the record to corroborate the government's claim.

See also


    Further reading

    • Johnson-Liu, M. E. (1999). "Running from the Law in the Wrong Part of Town: Illinois v. Wardlow". American Journal of Criminal Law. 27: 129. ISSN 0092-2315.
    • Wang, Andrea (2001). "Illinois v. Wardlow and the Crisis of Legitimacy: An Argument for a 'Real Cost' Balancing Test". Law & Inequality. 19: 1. ISSN 0737-089X.
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