Ornelas v. United States, 517 U.S. 690, 9 (1996)

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Opinion of the Court

law enforcement.' " New York v. Belton, 453 U. S. 454, 458 (1981); see also Thompson v. Keohane, 516 U. S. 99, 115 (1995) ("[T]he law declaration aspect of independent review potentially may guide police, unify precedent, and stabilize the law," and those effects "serve legitimate law enforcement interests").

It is true that because the mosaic which is analyzed for a reasonable-suspicion or probable-cause inquiry is multi-faceted, "one determination will seldom be a useful 'precedent' for another," Gates, supra, at 238, n. 11. But there are exceptions. For instance, the circumstances in Brinegar, supra, and Carroll v. United States, 267 U. S. 132 (1925), were so alike that we concluded that reversing the Court of Appeals' decision in Brinegar was necessary to be faithful to Carroll. Brinegar, supra, at 178 ("Nor . . . can we find in the present facts any substantial basis for distinguishing this case from the Carroll case"). We likewise recognized the similarity of facts in United States v. Sokolow, supra, and Florida v. Royer, 460 U. S. 491 (1983) (in both cases, the defendant traveled under an assumed name; paid for an airline ticket in cash with a number of small bills; traveled from Miami, a source city for illicit drugs; and appeared nervous in the airport). The same was true both in United States v. Ross, 456 U. S. 798 (1982), and California v. Acevedo, 500 U. S. 565 (1991), see id., at 572 ("The facts in this case closely resemble the facts in Ross"); and in United States v. Menden-hall, 446 U. S. 544 (1980), and Reid v. Georgia, 448 U. S. 438 (1980), see id., at 443 (Powell, J., concurring) ("facts [in Mendenhall] [are] remarkably similar to those in the present case"). And even where one case may not squarely control another one, the two decisions when viewed together may usefully add to the body of law on the subject.

The Court of Appeals, in adopting its deferential standard of review here, reasoned that de novo review for warrantless searches would be inconsistent with the " 'great deference' " paid when reviewing a decision to issue a warrant, see Illi-

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