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Civil Arrest? (Another) St. Louis Case Study In Unconstitutionality, Mae Quinn, Eirik Cheverud Jan 2016

Civil Arrest? (Another) St. Louis Case Study In Unconstitutionality, Mae Quinn, Eirik Cheverud

Journal Articles

This Article advances a simple claim in need of enforcement in this country right now: no person may be arrested for an alleged violation of civil, as opposed to criminal, law. Indeed, courts have long interpreted the Fourth Amendment as prohibiting arrest except when probable cause exists to believe that a crime has been committed and that the defendant is the person who committed the crime. However, in many places police take citizens into custody without a warrant for the non-criminal conduct of allegedly breaking civil laws. This unfortunate phenomenon received national attention in St. Louis, Missouri following the death …


The Supreme Court's Quiet Expansion Of Qualified Immunity, Kit Kinports Jan 2016

The Supreme Court's Quiet Expansion Of Qualified Immunity, Kit Kinports

Journal Articles

This Essay discusses the Supreme Court’s tendency in recent opinions to covertly expand the reach of the qualified immunity defense available to public officials in § 1983 civil rights suits. In particular, the Essay points out that the Court, often in per curiam rulings, has described qualified immunity in increasingly broad terms and has qualified and retreated from its precedents, without offering any explanation or even acknowledging that it is deviating from past practice.

In making this claim, I focus on three specific issues: the manner in which the Court characterizes the standard governing the qualified immunity defense; the question …


Heien'S Mistake Of Law, Kit Kinports Jan 2016

Heien'S Mistake Of Law, Kit Kinports

Journal Articles

The Supreme Court has been whittling away at the Fourth Amendment for decades. The Court's 2014 ruling in Heien v. North Carolina allowing the police to make a traffic stop based on a reasonable mistake of law generated little controversy among the Justices and escaped largely unnoticed by the press-perhaps because yet another Supreme Court decision reading the Fourth Amendment narrowly is not especially noteworthy or because the opinion's cursory and overly simplistic analysis equating law enforcement's reasonable mistakes of fact and law minimized the significance of the Court's decision. But the temptation to dismiss Heien as just another small …