Cite as: 517 U. S. 806 (1996)
make clear that the Fourth Amendment's concern with "reasonableness" allows certain actions to be taken in certain circumstances, whatever the subjective intent. See, e. g., Robinson, supra, at 236. Nor can the Fourth Amendment's protections be thought to vary from place to place and from time to time, which would be the consequence of assessing the reasonableness of police conduct in light of local law enforcement practices. Pp. 813-816. (c) Also rejected is petitioners' argument that the balancing of interests inherent in Fourth Amendment inquiries does not support enforcement of minor traffic laws by plainclothes police in unmarked vehicles, since that practice only minimally advances the government's interest in traffic safety while subjecting motorists to inconvenience, confusion, and anxiety. Where probable cause exists, this Court has found it necessary to engage in balancing only in cases involving searches or seizures conducted in a manner unusually harmful to the individual. See, e. g., Tennessee v. Garner, 471 U. S. 1. The making of a traffic stop out of uniform does not remotely qualify as such an extreme practice. Pp. 816-819. 53 F. 3d 371, affirmed.
Scalia, J., delivered the opinion for a unanimous Court.
Lisa Burget Wright argued the cause for petitioners. With her on the briefs were A. J. Kramer, Neil H. Jaffee, and G. Allen Dale.
James A. Feldman argued the cause for the United States. On the brief were Solicitor General Days, Acting Assistant Attorney General Keeney, Deputy Solicitor General Dreeben, and Paul A. Engelmayer.*
*Briefs of amici curiae urging reversal were filed for the American Civil Liberties Union by Steven R. Shapiro and Susan N. Herman; and for the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers by Natman Schaye and Walter B. Nash III.
Briefs of amici curiae urging affirmance were filed for the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation by Kent S. Scheidegger and Charles L. Hobson; and for the State of California et al. by Daniel E. Lungren, Attorney General of California, George Williamson, Chief Assistant Attorney General, Ronald A. Bass, Senior Assistant Attorney General, Joan Killeen and Catherine A. Rivlin, Supervising Deputy Attorneys General, and Christina V. Kuo, Deputy Attorney General; and by the Attorneys General for their respective States as follows: M. Jane Brady of Delaware,
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