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Constitutional Law

St. Mary's University

Law enforcement

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Regulating Law Enforcement's Use Of Drones: The Need For State Legislation, Michael L. Smith Jan 2015

Regulating Law Enforcement's Use Of Drones: The Need For State Legislation, Michael L. Smith

Faculty Articles

The recent rise of domestic drone technology has prompted privacy advocates and members of the public to call for the regulation of the use of drones by law enforcement officers. Numerous states have proposed legislation to regulate government drone use, and thirteen have passed laws that restrict the use of drones by law enforcement agencies. Despite the activity in state legislatures, commentary on drones tends to focus on how courts, rather than legislative bodies, can restrict the government's use of drones. Commentators call for wider Fourth Amendment protections that would limit government surveillance. In the process, in-depth analysis of state …


When “Special Needs” Meet Probable Cause: Denying The Devil Benefit Of Law, Gerald S. Reamey Jan 1992

When “Special Needs” Meet Probable Cause: Denying The Devil Benefit Of Law, Gerald S. Reamey

Faculty Articles

Removing laws to pursue the lawbreaker may be well intentioned, but the result is that society is susceptible to the evils those laws protect against. The traditional Fourth Amendment safeguards--probable cause and warrants--have been abandoned due to the development of a reasonableness standard because of the presence of “special needs” that were used to justify searches. The adoption of this alternative approach to Fourth Amendment interpretation was signalled by the truly landmark case of Terry v. Ohio.

By adopting the “reasonableness” analysis, the Supreme Court altered the impact of the exclusionary rule without directly modifying the rule. After Griffin v. …