There was a time when people bought hats and the clothing tag and price tag were taken off at the time of the sale. Now, the new style among some young people is to wear a hat with the clothing and price tag still on it. It’s considered cool. Whoever started this style probably stole the hat and forgot to take the tags off. This person’s forgetfulness now makes it easier for hat-thieves (if such a group exists) to steal hats.
In a five to four decision the United States Supreme Court held that an under cover security officer who could not say he saw the Defendant walk into the store without a hat on, did not have probable cause to detain the Defendant for the sole reason that the defendant was wearing a hat that still had the clothing and price tag on it when he walked out of the store.
Writing for the majority, Justice Ginsburg wrote that since it is the style there has to be some other evidence of theft before probable cause can be established, otherwise many innocent people would be detained for no reason.
In a dissenting opinion, Justice Roberts referred to the majority opinion as something the Mad Hatter would write and declared it a sad day for retailers everywhere, since it wouldn’t be too long before the style of keeping the clothing and price tag on clothes extended to other items of clothing such as shirts, shorts, pants, shoes, etc…,