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University of Michigan Law School

2012

Law Enforcement and Corrections

GPS

Michigan Law Review

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The Mosaic Theory Of The Fourth Amendment, Orin S. Kerr Dec 2012

The Mosaic Theory Of The Fourth Amendment, Orin S. Kerr

Michigan Law Review

In the Supreme Court's recent decision on GPS surveillance, United States v. Jones, five justices authored or joined concurring opinions that applied a new approach to interpreting Fourth Amendment protection. Before Jones, Fourth Amendment decisions had always evaluated each step of an investigation individually. Jones introduced what we might call a "mosaic theory" of the Fourth Amendment, by which courts evaluate a collective sequence of government activity as an aggregated whole to consider whether the sequence amounts to a search. This Article considers the implications of a mosaic theory of the Fourth Amendment. It explores the choices and puzzles ...