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Social Norms In Fourth Amendment Law, Matthew Tokson, Ari Ezra Waldman Nov 2021

Social Norms In Fourth Amendment Law, Matthew Tokson, Ari Ezra Waldman

Michigan Law Review

Courts often look to existing social norms to resolve difficult questions in Fourth Amendment law. In theory, these norms can provide an objective basis for courts’ constitutional decisions, grounding Fourth Amendment law in familiar societal attitudes and beliefs. In reality, however, social norms can shift rapidly, are constantly being contested, and frequently reflect outmoded and discriminatory concepts. This Article draws on contemporary sociological literatures on norms and technology to reveal how courts’ reliance on norms leads to several identifiable errors in Fourth Amendment jurisprudence.

Courts assessing social norms generally adopt what we call the closure principle, or the idea that ...


Secret Searches: The Sca's Standing Conundrum, Aviv S. Halpern Jan 2019

Secret Searches: The Sca's Standing Conundrum, Aviv S. Halpern

Michigan Law Review

The Stored Communications Act (“SCA”) arms federal law enforcement agencies with the ability to use a special type of warrant to access users’ electronically stored communications. In some circumstances, SCA warrants can require service providers to bundle and produce a user’s electronically stored communications without ever disclosing the existence of the warrant to the individual user until charges are brought. Users that are charged will ultimately receive notice of the search after the fact through their legal proceedings. Users that are never charged, however, may never know that their communications were obtained and searched. This practice effectively makes the ...


Carpenter's Legacy: Limiting The Scope Of The Electronic Private Search Doctrine, Sarah A. Mezera Jan 2019

Carpenter's Legacy: Limiting The Scope Of The Electronic Private Search Doctrine, Sarah A. Mezera

Michigan Law Review

One of the most significant challenges confronting courts and legal scholars in the twenty-first century is the application of Fourth Amendment doctrine to new technology. The circuit split over the application of the private search doctrine to electronic devices exemplifies how courts struggle to apply old doctrines to new circumstances. Some courts take the position that the old doctrine should apply consistently in the new context. Other courts have changed the scope of the old doctrine in order to account for the change in circumstances. The Supreme Court took the latter position in Carpenter v. United States and held that ...


Fourth Amendment Textualism, Jeffrey Bellin Jan 2019

Fourth Amendment Textualism, Jeffrey Bellin

Michigan Law Review

The Fourth Amendment’s prohibition of “unreasonable searches” is one of the most storied constitutional commands. Yet after decades of Supreme Court jurisprudence, a coherent definition of the term “search” remains surprisingly elusive. Even the justices know they have a problem. Recent opinions only halfheartedly apply the controlling “reasonable expectation of privacy” test and its wildly unpopular cousin, “third-party doctrine,” with a few justices in open revolt.

These fissures hint at the Court’s openness to a new approach. Unfortunately, no viable alternatives appear on the horizon. The justices themselves offer little in the way of a replacement. And scholars ...


Policing, Danger Narratives, And Routine Traffic Stops, Jordan Blair Woods Jan 2019

Policing, Danger Narratives, And Routine Traffic Stops, Jordan Blair Woods

Michigan Law Review

This Article presents findings from the largest and most comprehensive study to date on violence against the police during traffic stops. Every year, police officers conduct tens of millions of traffic stops. Many of these stops are entirely unremarkable—so much so that they may be fairly described as routine. Nonetheless, the narrative that routine traffic stops are fraught with grave and unpredictable danger to the police permeates police training and animates Fourth Amendment doctrine. This Article challenges this dominant danger narrative and its centrality within key institutions that regulate the police.

The presented study is the first to offer ...


Forensic Border Searches After Carpenter Require Probable Cause And A Warrant, Christopher I. Pryby Jan 2019

Forensic Border Searches After Carpenter Require Probable Cause And A Warrant, Christopher I. Pryby

Michigan Law Review

Under the border search doctrine, courts have upheld the federal government's practice of searching people and their possessions upon entry into or exit from the United States, without any requirement of suspicion, as reasonable under the Fourth Amendment. Since the advent of electronic devices with large storage capacities, courts have grappled with whether this definition of reasonableness continues to apply. So far, courts have consistently characterized “nonforensic” border inspections of electronic devices (for example, paging through photos on a phone) as “routine” searches that, like inspecting luggage brought across international lines, require no suspicion. But there is a circuit ...


Fourth Amendment Fairness, Richard M. Re Jun 2018

Fourth Amendment Fairness, Richard M. Re

Michigan Law Review

Fourth Amendment doctrine is attentive to a wide range of interests, including security, informational privacy, and dignity. How should courts reconcile these competing concerns when deciding which searches and seizures are “unreasonable”? Current doctrine typically answers this question by pointing to interest aggregation: the various interests at stake are added up, placed on figurative scales, and compared, with the goal of promoting overall social welfare. But interest aggregation is disconnected from many settled doctrinal rules and leads to results that are unfair for individuals. The main alternative is originalism; but historical sources themselves suggest that the Fourth Amendment calls for ...


The Effect Of Legislation On Fourth Amendment Protection, Orin S. Kerr Jan 2017

The Effect Of Legislation On Fourth Amendment Protection, Orin S. Kerr

Michigan Law Review

When judges interpret the Fourth Amendment, and privacy legislation regulates the government’s conduct, should the legislation have an effect on the Fourth Amendment? Courts are split three ways. Some courts argue that legislation provides the informed judgment of a coequal branch that should influence the Fourth Amendment. Some courts contend that the presence of legislation should displace Fourth Amendment protection to prevent constitutional rules from interfering with the legislature’s handiwork. Finally, some courts treat legislation and the Fourth Amendment as independent and contend that the legislation should have no effect. This Article argues that courts should favor interpreting ...


Why Arrest?, Rachel A. Harmon Dec 2016

Why Arrest?, Rachel A. Harmon

Michigan Law Review

Arrests are the paradigmatic police activity. Though the practice of arrests in the United States, especially arrests involving minority suspects, is under attack, even critics widely assume the power to arrest is essential to policing. As a result, neither commentators nor scholars have asked why police need to make arrests. This Article takes up that question, and it argues that the power to arrest and the use of that power should be curtailed. The twelve million arrests police conduct each year are harmful not only to the individual arrested but also to their families and communities and to society as ...


Search Incident To Probable Cause?: The Intersection Of Rawlings And Knowles, Marissa Perry Jan 2016

Search Incident To Probable Cause?: The Intersection Of Rawlings And Knowles, Marissa Perry

Michigan Law Review

The search incident to arrest exception authorizes an officer to search an arrestee’s person and his or her area of immediate control. This exception is based on two historical justifications: officer safety and evidence preservation. While much of search incident to arrest doctrine is settled, tension exists between two Supreme Court cases, Rawlings v. Kentucky and Knowles v. Iowa, and a crucial question remains unanswered: Must an officer decide to make an arrest prior to commencing a search? In Rawlings, the Supreme Court stated that a search may precede a formal arrest if the arrest follows quickly thereafter. In ...


Hassle, Jane Bambauer Feb 2015

Hassle, Jane Bambauer

Michigan Law Review

Before police perform a search or seizure, they typically must meet the probable cause or reasonable suspicion standard. Moreover, even if they meet the appropriate standard, their evidence must be individualized to the suspect and cannot rely on purely probabilistic inferences. Scholars and courts have long defended the distinction between individualized and purely probabilistic evidence, but existing theories of individualization fail to articulate principles that are descriptively accurate or normatively desirable. They overlook the only benefit that the individualization requirement can offer: reducing hassle. Hassle measures the chance that an innocent person will experience a search or seizure. Because some ...


The Politics Of Privacy In The Criminal Justice System: Information Disclosure, The Fourth Amendment, And Statutory Law Enforcement Exemptions, Erin Murphy Feb 2013

The Politics Of Privacy In The Criminal Justice System: Information Disclosure, The Fourth Amendment, And Statutory Law Enforcement Exemptions, Erin Murphy

Michigan Law Review

When criminal justice scholars think of privacy, they think of the Fourth Amendment. But lately its domain has become far less absolute. The United States Code currently contains over twenty separate statutes that restrict both the acquisition and release of covered information. Largely enacted in the latter part of the twentieth century, these statutes address matters vital to modern existence. They control police access to driver's licenses, educational records, health histories, telephone calls, email messages, and even video rentals. They conform to no common template, but rather enlist a variety of procedural tools to serve as safeguards - ranging from ...


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 ...


Framing The Fourth, Tracey Maclin, Julia Mirabella Apr 2011

Framing The Fourth, Tracey Maclin, Julia Mirabella

Michigan Law Review

Our knowledge of the Fourth Amendment's history was fundamentally transformed when William Cuddihy completed his Ph.D. dissertation in 1990. Cuddihy's study was the most comprehensive and detailed examination of the history of search and seizure law and essential reading for anyone interested in the amendment's history. At first, Cuddihy's work was little known: only a few people noticed when the highly regarded constitutional historian Leonard W. Levy stated that "Cuddihy is the best authority on the origins of the Fourth Amendment." Cuddihy finished his dissertation in 1990 and it remained unedited, unpublished, and largely unknown ...


Do We Need A New Fourth Amendment?, Orin S. Kerr Apr 2009

Do We Need A New Fourth Amendment?, Orin S. Kerr

Michigan Law Review

Slobogin's book offers a new conceptualization of the Fourth Amendment rooted in what he calls the proportionality principle: An investigative technique should be permitted under the Constitution only if the strength of the government's justification for the technique is roughly proportionate to the level of intrusion it causes . Slobogin roots this principle in Terry v. Ohio and its pragmatic balancing of law-enforcement and privacy interests. To determine how much justification the Fourth Amendment requires, Slobogin argues, courts should assess the intrusiveness of the investigatory technique and then set a proportionate threshold of proof that the government must show ...


The Case For The Third-Party Doctrine, Orin S. Kerr Jan 2009

The Case For The Third-Party Doctrine, Orin S. Kerr

Michigan Law Review

This Article offers a defense of the Fourth Amendment's third party doctrine, the controversial rule that information loses Fourth Amendment protection when it is knowingly revealed to a third party. Fourth Amendment scholars have repeatedly attacked the rule on the ground that it is unpersuasive on its face and gives the government too much power This Article responds that critics have overlooked the benefits of the rule and have overstated its weaknesses. The third-party doctrine serves two critical functions. First, the doctrine ensures the technological neutrality of the Fourth Amendment. It corrects for the substitution effect of third parties ...


One Stop, No Stop, Two Stop, Terry Stop: Reasonable Suspicion And Pseudoephedrine Purchases By Suspected Methamphetamine Manufacturers, Andrew C. Goetz May 2007

One Stop, No Stop, Two Stop, Terry Stop: Reasonable Suspicion And Pseudoephedrine Purchases By Suspected Methamphetamine Manufacturers, Andrew C. Goetz

Michigan Law Review

This Note attempts to inject some clarity into courts' reasonable suspicion calculus for cold medicine purchases. It argues that the key factor in analyzing such purchases is whether the purchaser or purchasers appear to be circumventing pseudoephedrine purchasing restrictions in order to obtain inordinately large quantities of pseudoephedrine. Part I provides a general background on the domestic manufacture of methamphetamine in small, clandestine laboratories. Part II then examines the interplay between outward innocence and reasonable suspicion under the Supreme Court's Fourth Amendment jurisprudence. Finally, Part III establishes a framework for identifying purchasing strategies that methamphetamine manufacturers commonly use to ...


Declining To State A Name In Consideration Of The Fifth Amendment's Self-Incrimination Clause And Law Enforcement Databases After Hiibel, Joseph R. Ashby Feb 2006

Declining To State A Name In Consideration Of The Fifth Amendment's Self-Incrimination Clause And Law Enforcement Databases After Hiibel, Joseph R. Ashby

Michigan Law Review

In response to a report of an argument on a public sidewalk, a police officer approaches two people standing in the vicinity of the reported dispute. The officer requests that each person provide her name so the officer can run the names through databases to which the police department subscribes. After searching each name through various databases, the officer might discover that one of the individuals made several purchases of cold medicine containing pseudoephedrine and that the other just received a license from the State to procure certain hazardous chemicals. These two people might be in the early stages of ...


Equality, Objectivity, And Neutrality, Alafair S. Burke May 2005

Equality, Objectivity, And Neutrality, Alafair S. Burke

Michigan Law Review

When is homicide reasonable? That familiar, yet unanswered question continues to intrigue both courts and criminal law scholars, in large part because any response must first address the question, "reasonable to whom?" The standard story about why that threshold question is both difficult and interesting usually involves a juxtaposition of "objective" and "subjective" standards for judging claims of reasonableness. On the one hand, the story goes, is a "subjective" standard of reasonableness under which jurors evaluate the reasonableness of a criminal defendant's beliefs and actions by comparing them to those of a hypothetical reasonable person sharing all of the ...


Justice In The Time Of Terror, Sharon L. Davies May 2004

Justice In The Time Of Terror, Sharon L. Davies

Michigan Law Review

On my drive into work recently I found myself behind a Ford pickup truck and noticed its bumper sticker: "When the going gets tough, I get a machine gun." Not a doctor. Not a counselor or mediator. Not a shelter for cover. Not the wisdom of a favored advisor or a proven friend. But a machine gun. How odd, I thought, to prefer a weapon incapable of identifying with any precision, any careful thought, where the enemy of the wielder of it might actually be hidden. A weapon as apt to injure non-targets as targets. A weapon mindless of its ...


Technology, Privacy, And The Courts: A Reply To Colb And Swire, Orin S. Kerr Mar 2004

Technology, Privacy, And The Courts: A Reply To Colb And Swire, Orin S. Kerr

Michigan Law Review

I thank Sherry Colb and Peter Swire for devoting their time and considerable talents to responding to my article, The Fourth Amendment and New Technologies: Constitutional Myths and the Case for Caution. I will conclude with a few comments.


Katz Is Dead. Long Live Katz, Peter P. Swire Mar 2004

Katz Is Dead. Long Live Katz, Peter P. Swire

Michigan Law Review

Katz v. United States is the king of Supreme Court surveillance cases. Written in 1967, it struck down the earlier regime of property rules, declaring that "the Fourth Amendment protects people, not places." The concurrence by Justice Harlan announced the new regime - court-issued warrants are required where there is an infringement on a person's "reasonable expectation of privacy." Together with the companion case Berger v. New York, Katz has stood for a grand conception of the Fourth Amendment as a bulwark against wiretaps and other emerging forms of surveillance. Professor Orin Kerr, in his excellent article, shows that this ...


A World Without Privacy: Why Property Does Not Define The Limits Of The Right Against Unreasonable Searches And Seizures, Sherry F. Colb Mar 2004

A World Without Privacy: Why Property Does Not Define The Limits Of The Right Against Unreasonable Searches And Seizures, Sherry F. Colb

Michigan Law Review

Imagine for a moment that it is the year 2020. An American company has developed a mind-reading device, called the "brain wave recorder" ("BWR"). The BWR is a highly sensitive instrument that detects electrical impulses from any brain within ten feet of the machine. Though previously thought impossible, the BWR can discern the following information about the target individual: (1) whether he or she is happy, sad, anxious, depressed, or irritable; (2) whether he or she is even slightly sexually aroused; (3) whether he or she is taking any medication (and if so, what the medication is); (4) if a ...


The Fourth Amendment And New Technologies: Constitutional Myths And The Case For Caution, Orin S. Kerr Mar 2004

The Fourth Amendment And New Technologies: Constitutional Myths And The Case For Caution, Orin S. Kerr

Michigan Law Review

To one who values federalism, federal preemption of state law may significantly threaten the autonomy and core regulatory authority of The Supreme Court recently considered whether a1mmg an infrared thermal imaging device at a suspect's home can violate the Fourth Amendment. Kyllo v. United States announced a new and comprehensive rule: the government's warrantless use of senseenhancing technology that is "not in general use" violates the Fourth Amendment when it yields "details of the home that would previously have been unknowable without physical intrusion." Justice Scalia's majority opinion acknowledged that the Court's rule was not needed ...


The "Routine Traffic Stop" From Start To Finish: Too Much "Routine," Not Enough Fourth Amendment, Wayne R. Lafave Jan 2004

The "Routine Traffic Stop" From Start To Finish: Too Much "Routine," Not Enough Fourth Amendment, Wayne R. Lafave

Michigan Law Review

Yale Kamisar, about which I have said too much elsewhere in this issue of the Review, could rightly be called "Mr. Confessions," for he has not only authored books and a host of articles on the subject of police interrogation, but for years has been printing Miranda cards in his basement and selling them to police departments all across the nation. Moreover, he may be the only law professor in the country who has both personally coerced a confession and had a confession coerced out of him. As Kamisar has himself noted, my own "intellectual sandbox" has been the field ...


Road Work: Racial Profiling And Drug Interdiction On The Highway, Samuel R. Gross, Katherine Y. Barnes Dec 2002

Road Work: Racial Profiling And Drug Interdiction On The Highway, Samuel R. Gross, Katherine Y. Barnes

Michigan Law Review

Hypocrisy about race is hardly new in America, but the content changes. Recently the spotlight has been on racial profiling. The story of Colonel Carl Williams of the New Jersey State Police is a wellknown example. On Sunday, February 28, 1999, the Newark Star Ledger published a lengthy interview with Williams in which he talked about race and drugs: "Today . . . the drug problem is cocaine or marijuana. It is most likely a minority group that's involved with that. " Williams condemned racial profiling - "As far as racial profiling is concerned, that is absolutely not right. It never has been condoned ...


The Fourth Amendment In The Hallway: Do Tenants Have A Constitutionally Protected Privacy Interest In The Locked Common Areas Of Their Apartment Buildings?, Sean M. Lewis Oct 2002

The Fourth Amendment In The Hallway: Do Tenants Have A Constitutionally Protected Privacy Interest In The Locked Common Areas Of Their Apartment Buildings?, Sean M. Lewis

Michigan Law Review

One afternoon, a police officer spots a man driving a Cadillac through a run·down neighborhood. His interest piqued, the officer decides to follow the vehicle. The Cadillac soon comes to rest in front of an apartment building, and the driver, Jimmy Barrios-Moriera, removes a shopping bag from the trunk and enters the building. The moment Barrios-Moriera disappears within the doorway, the officer sprints after him because he knows that the door to the apartment building will automatically lock when it closes. He manages to catch the door just in time and rushes in. Barrios-Moriera is already halfway up a ...


(E)Racing The Fourth Amendment, Devon W. Carbado Mar 2002

(E)Racing The Fourth Amendment, Devon W. Carbado

Michigan Law Review

It's been almost two years since I pledged allegiance to the United States of America - that is to say, became an American citizen. Before that, I was a permanent resident of America and a citizen of the United Kingdom. Yet, I became a black American long before I acquired American citizenship. Unlike citizenship, black racial naturalization was always available to me, even as I tried to make myself unavailable for that particular Americanization process. Given the negative images of black Americans on 1970s British television and the intra-racial tensions between blacks in the U.K. and blacks in America ...


We Can Do This The Easy Way Or The Hard Way: The Use Of Deceit To Induce Consent Searches, Rebecca Strauss Feb 2002

We Can Do This The Easy Way Or The Hard Way: The Use Of Deceit To Induce Consent Searches, Rebecca Strauss

Michigan Law Review

In October of 1995, Aaron Salvo was studying and living at Ashland College. College officials informed local FBI agents that they suspected Salvo of possible child molestation and related conduct based on incriminating electronic mail. FBI agents approached Salvo at his dormitory, asked to speak with him in private about the suspicious mail, and suggested they speak in Salvo's dorm room. Salvo agreed to speak with the officers, but declined to do so in his room because his roommate was there, and he did not want to get anyone else involved in the embarrassing nature of the upcoming conversation ...


When Constitutional Worlds Colide: Resurrecting The Framers' Bill Of Rights And Criminal Procedure, George C. Thomas Iii Oct 2001

When Constitutional Worlds Colide: Resurrecting The Framers' Bill Of Rights And Criminal Procedure, George C. Thomas Iii

Michigan Law Review

For two hundred years, the Supreme Court has been interpreting the Bill of Rights. Imagine Chief Justice John Marshall sitting in the dim, narrow Supreme Court chambers, pondering the interpretation of the Sixth Amendment right to compulsory process in United States v. Burr. Aaron Burr was charged with treason for planning to invade the Louisiana Territory and create a separate government there. To help prepare his defense, Burr wanted to see a letter written by General James Wilkinson to President Jefferson. In ruling on Burr's motion to compel disclosure, Marshall departed from the literal language of the Sixth Amendment ...