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Constitutional Law

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Stephen E Henderson

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Carpenter V. United States And The Fourth Amendment: The Best Way Forward, Stephen E. Henderson Dec 2017

Carpenter V. United States And The Fourth Amendment: The Best Way Forward, Stephen E. Henderson

Stephen E Henderson

We finally have a federal ‘test case.’  In Carpenter v. United States, the Supreme Court is poised to set the direction of the Fourth Amendment in the digital age.  The case squarely presents how the twentieth-century third party doctrine will fare in contemporary times, and the stakes could not be higher.  This Article reviews the Carpenter case and how it fits within the greater discussion of the Fourth Amendment third party doctrine and location surveillance, and I express a hope that the Court will be both a bit ambitious and a good measure cautious. 
 
As for ambition, the Court must ...


Fourth Amendment Anxiety, Stephen E. Henderson, Kiel Brennan-Marquez Dec 2017

Fourth Amendment Anxiety, Stephen E. Henderson, Kiel Brennan-Marquez

Stephen E Henderson

In Birchfield v. North Dakota (2016), the Supreme Court broke new Fourth Amendment ground by establishing that law enforcement’s collection of information can be cause for “anxiety,” meriting constitutional protection, even if subsequent uses of the information are tightly restricted.  This change is significant.  While the Court has long recognized the reality that police cannot always be trusted to follow constitutional rules, Birchfield changes how that concern is implemented in Fourth Amendment law, and importantly, in a manner that acknowledges the new realities of data-driven policing.
 
Beyond offering a careful reading of Birchfield, this Article has two goals.  First ...


Testimony On Unmanned Aircraft Systems Rules And Regulations, Stephen E. Henderson Sep 2016

Testimony On Unmanned Aircraft Systems Rules And Regulations, Stephen E. Henderson

Stephen E Henderson

Chairman Barrington, Vice Chair Brooks, members of the Committee on Public Safety, Senators, and distinguished guests, I am grateful for the opportunity to speak to you today about unmanned aerial systems, or drones, and more particularly about their federal constitutional implications and what might be the constitutional restrictions on any legislation you might like to enact. I am the Judge Haskell A. Holloman Professor of Law at the University of Oklahoma, where my teaching and research focus on criminal law and procedure and privacy, including the constitutional rights pertaining thereto.

My topic is not an easy one. The constitutional law ...


If You Fly A Drone, So Can Police, Stephen E. Henderson May 2016

If You Fly A Drone, So Can Police, Stephen E. Henderson

Stephen E Henderson


According to the U.S. Constitution, the more you fly your drone, the more police can fly theirs. “Come on,” you might reply, “that hoary document”—and, yes, sorry to make you the sort who drops words like hoary—“that hoary document surely says nothing about drones.” But in fact it does. At least it does as interpreted by the courts. In particular, it is how they interpret the Fourth Amendment. So, to understand this aspect of drones, we first must understand this provision of the Bill of Rights...


Ou Professor: Fourth Amendment At Heart Of Dispute Between Fbi, Apple, Stephen E. Henderson Mar 2016

Ou Professor: Fourth Amendment At Heart Of Dispute Between Fbi, Apple, Stephen E. Henderson

Stephen E Henderson

The dispute between the FBI and Apple Inc. over the unlocking of the iPhone used by one of the San Bernadino shooters is important to all Americans. And so it's good that it is getting a wide airing. But when it comes to issues that have complicated tradeoffs, it can be important not just that we have the conversation, but that we use the right words. And here the debate deserves very mixed reviews. . . .


Lawn Signs: A Fourth Amendment For Constitutional Curmudgeons, Stephen E. Henderson, Andrew G. Ferguson Dec 2015

Lawn Signs: A Fourth Amendment For Constitutional Curmudgeons, Stephen E. Henderson, Andrew G. Ferguson

Stephen E Henderson

What is the constitutional significance of the proverbial “keep off the grass” sign?  This question—asked by curmudgeonly neighbors everywhere—has been given new currency in a recent decision by the United States Supreme Court.  Indeed, Florida v. Jardines might have bestowed constitutional curmudgeons with significant new Fourth Amendment protections.  By expressing expectations regarding—and control over—access to property, “the people” may be able to claim greater Fourth Amendment protections not only for their homes, but also for their persons, papers, and effects.  This article launches a constitutionally grounded, but lighthearted campaign of citizen education and empowerment: Fourth Amendment ...


A Rose By Any Other Name: Regulating Law Enforcement Bulk Metadata Collection, Stephen E. Henderson Dec 2015

A Rose By Any Other Name: Regulating Law Enforcement Bulk Metadata Collection, Stephen E. Henderson

Stephen E Henderson

In Other People’s Papers, Jane Bambauer argues for careful reform of the Fourth Amendment’s third party doctrine, providing an important contribution to an increasingly rich field of scholarship, judicial opinion, statute, and law reform.  Bambauer is especially concerned with access to bodies of third-party data that can be filtered and mined, as they can be privacy invasive but also effective and less subject to traditional investigative prejudices and limitations.  Although her article provocatively overclaims in trying to set itself apart from existing proposals, by analyzing existing constitutional and statutory law—including what I have termed a “limited” third ...


Fourth Amendment Time Machines (And What They Might Say About Police Body Cameras), Stephen E. Henderson Dec 2015

Fourth Amendment Time Machines (And What They Might Say About Police Body Cameras), Stephen E. Henderson

Stephen E Henderson

When it comes to criminal investigation, time travel is increasingly possible.  Despite longstanding roots in traditional investigation, science is today providing something fundamentally different in the form of remarkably complete digital records.  And those big data records not only store our past, but thanks to data mining they are in many circumstances eerily good at predicting our future.  So, now that we stand on the threshold of investigatory time travel, how should the Fourth Amendment and legislation respond?  How should we approach bulk government capture, such as by a solar-powered drone employing wide-area persistent stare technology?  Is it meaningfully different ...


Our Records Panopticon And The American Bar Association Standards For Criminal Justice, Stephen E. Henderson Dec 2013

Our Records Panopticon And The American Bar Association Standards For Criminal Justice, Stephen E. Henderson

Stephen E Henderson

"Secrets are lies. Sharing is caring. Privacy is theft." So concludes the main character in Dave Egger’s novel The Circle, in which a single company that unites Google, Facebook, and Twitter – and on steroids – has the ambition not only to know, but also to share, all of the world's information. It is telling that a current dystopian novel features not the government in the first instance, but instead a private third party that, through no act of overt coercion, knows so much about us. This is indeed the greatest risk to privacy in our day, both the unprecedented ...


Who Should Be The ‘Decider’ On Keeping Our Secrets?, Stephen E. Henderson Sep 2013

Who Should Be The ‘Decider’ On Keeping Our Secrets?, Stephen E. Henderson

Stephen E Henderson

An invited essay for Constitution Day, also available here: http://blogs.law.widener.edu/constitution2013/2013-essay-authors/stephen-henderson/
It addresses the national security surveillance disclosed by Edward Snowden and others, and asks whether a fundamental shift would be prudent in the era of Big Data.


Expectations Of Privacy In Social Media, Stephen E. Henderson Dec 2011

Expectations Of Privacy In Social Media, Stephen E. Henderson

Stephen E Henderson

This article, which largely tracks my remarks at Mississippi College’s Social Media Symposium, examines expectations of privacy in social media such as weblogs (blogs), Facebook pages, and Twitter tweets. Social media is diverse and ever-diversifying, and while I address some of that complexity, I focus on the core functionality, which provides the groundwork for further conversation as the technology and related social norms develop. As one would expect, just as with our offline communications and other online communications, in some we have an expectation of privacy that is recognized by current law, in some we have an expectation of ...


The Timely Demise Of The Fourth Amendment Third Party Doctrine, Stephen E. Henderson Dec 2010

The Timely Demise Of The Fourth Amendment Third Party Doctrine, Stephen E. Henderson

Stephen E Henderson

In what may be a slightly premature obituary, in this response to a forthcoming paper by Matthew Tokson I argue that the Fourth Amendment third party doctrine "has at least taken ill, and it can be hoped it is an illness from which it will never recover." It is increasingly unpopular as a matter of state constitutional law, has long been assailed in scholarship but now thoughtful alternatives are percolating, and it cannot – or at least should not – withstand the pressures which technology and social norms are placing upon it. Even the Supreme Court seems loath to defend or invoke ...


The Technology Of Surveillance: Will The Supreme Court's Expectations Ever Resemble Society's?, Stephen E. Henderson Dec 2006

The Technology Of Surveillance: Will The Supreme Court's Expectations Ever Resemble Society's?, Stephen E. Henderson

Stephen E Henderson

For law students studying criminal procedure—or at least for those cramming for the exam—it becomes a mantra: government conduct only implicates the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches if it invades a “reasonable expectation of privacy.” This is not the contemporary definition of the word “search,” nor was it the definition at the time of the founding. But, via a well-intentioned concurrence by Justice Harlan in the famous 1967 case of Katz v. United States, it became the Court’s definition.
This lack of fealty to the English language left some questions. For example, is determining whether someone ...


Beyond The (Current) Fourth Amendment: Protecting Third-Party Information, Third Parties, And The Rest Of Us Too, Stephen E. Henderson Dec 2006

Beyond The (Current) Fourth Amendment: Protecting Third-Party Information, Third Parties, And The Rest Of Us Too, Stephen E. Henderson

Stephen E Henderson

For at least thirty years the Supreme Court has adhered to its third-party doctrine in interpreting the Fourth Amendment, meaning that so far as a disclosing party is concerned, information in the hands of a third party receives no Fourth Amendment protection. The doctrine was controversial when adopted, has been the target of sustained criticism, and is the predominant reason that the Katz revolution has not been the revolution many hoped it would be. Some forty years after Katz the Court's search jurisprudence largely remains tied to property conceptions. As I have demonstrated elsewhere, however, the doctrine is not ...