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Vanderbilt University Law School

Law enforcement

2005

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Subpoenas And Privacy, Christopher Slobogin Jan 2005

Subpoenas And Privacy, Christopher Slobogin

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

This symposium article, the first of two on regulation of government's efforts to obtain paper and digital records of our activities, analyzes the constitutional legitimacy of subpoenas. Whether issued by a grand jury or an administrative agency, subpoenas are extremely easy to enforce, merely requiring the government to demonstrate that the items sought pursuant to the subpoena are "relevant" to a investigation. Yet today subpoenas and pseudo-subpoenas are routinely used not only to obtain business records and the like, but also documents containing significant amounts of personal information about individuals, including medical, financial, and email records. Part I provides an …