You can already hear all the likely jokes at the Supreme Court, about the justices going to the dogs. But the issue being argued Wednesday is deadly serious: whether police can take a trained drug-detection dog up to a house to smell for drugs inside, and if the dog alerts, use that to justify a search of the home.
In the case before the court, the four-legged cop was named Franky, and as a result of his nose, his human police partner charged Joelis Jardines with trafficking in more than 25 pounds of marijuana.
It's not easy to get around the back roads of West Virginia right now. Our four-wheel drive couldn't make it up the hill to David Arnold's place near Fayetteville, so he came down to get us in his Chevy Tahoe.
We spin through the snow, through archways made of broken tree branches. The drive is worth the effort; Arnold runs a whitewater rafting business, and he lives right on the edge of the New River gorge.
From his back porch, we can look 900 feet down to the river or 3,000 feet straight across, through falling snow to the other side. It's just gorgeous.