Arizona v. Evans, 514 U.S. 1, 7 (1995)

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Cite as: 514 U. S. 1 (1995)

Opinion of the Court

Fourth Amendment issue and instead based its decision on the Arizona good-faith statute, Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. 13- 3925 (1993), an adequate and independent state ground. In the alternative, respondent asks that we remand to the Arizona Supreme Court for clarification.

In Michigan v. Long, 463 U. S. 1032 (1983), we adopted a standard for determining whether a state-court decision rested upon an adequate and independent state ground. When "a state court decision fairly appears to rest primarily on federal law, or to be interwoven with the federal law, and when the adequacy and independence of any possible state law ground is not clear from the face of the opinion, we will accept as the most reasonable explanation that the state court decided the case the way it did because it believed that federal law required it to do so." Id., at 1040-1041. We adopted this practice, in part, to obviate the "unsatisfactory and intrusive practice of requiring state courts to clarify their decisions to the satisfaction of this Court." Id., at 1041. We also concluded that this approach would "provide state judges with a clearer opportunity to develop state jurisprudence unimpeded by federal interference, and yet will preserve the integrity of federal law." Ibid.

Justice Ginsburg would overrule Michigan v. Long, supra, because she believes that the rule of that case "impedes the States' ability to serve as laboratories for testing solutions to novel legal problems." Post, at 24.2 The opin-2 Justice Ginsburg certainly is correct when she notes that " '[s]ince Long, we repeatedly have followed [its] "plain statement" requirement.' " Post, at 33 (quoting Harris v. Reed, 489 U. S. 255, 261, n. 7 (1989) (opinion of Blackmun, J.)); see also Illinois v. Rodriguez, 497 U. S. 177, 182 (1990) (opinion of Scalia, J.); Pennsylvania v. Muniz, 496 U. S. 582, 588, n. 4 (1990) (opinion of Brennan, J.); Maryland v. Garrison, 480 U. S. 79, 83-84 (1987) (opinion of Stevens, J.); Caldwell v. Mississippi, 472 U. S. 320, 327- 328 (1985) (opinion of Marshall, J.); California v. Carney, 471 U. S. 386, 389, n. 1 (1985) (opinion of Burger, C. J.); Ohio v. Johnson, 467 U. S. 493, 497-498, n. 7 (1984) (opinion of Rehnquist, J.); Oliver v. United States, 466 U. S. 170, 175-176, n. 5 (1984) (opinion of Powell, J.); cf. Coleman

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