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Constitutional Law

Fourth Amendment

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Computationally Assessing Suspicion, Wesley M. Oliver May 2024

Computationally Assessing Suspicion, Wesley M. Oliver

Law Faculty Publications

Law enforcement officers performing drug interdiction on interstate highways have to decide nearly every day whether there is reasonable suspicion to detain motorists until a trained dog can sniff for the presence of drugs. The officers’ assessments are often wrong, however, and lead to unnecessary detentions of innocent persons and the suppression of drugs found on guilty ones. We propose a computational method of evaluating suspicion in these encounters and offer experimental results from early efforts demonstrating its feasibility. With the assistance of large language and predictive machine learning models, it appears that judges, advocates, and even police officers could …


The Unconstitutional Conditions Vacuum In Criminal Procedure, Kay L. Levine, Jonathan R. Nash, Robert A. Schapiro Jan 2024

The Unconstitutional Conditions Vacuum In Criminal Procedure, Kay L. Levine, Jonathan R. Nash, Robert A. Schapiro

Faculty Articles

For more than a century, the Supreme Court has applied the unconstitutional conditions doctrine in many contexts, scrutinizing government efforts to condition the tradeoff of rights for benefits with regard to speech, funding, and takings, among others. The Court has declined, however, to invoke the doctrine in the area of criminal procedure, where people accused of crime are often asked to—and often do—surrender their constitutional rights under the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments in return for some benefit. Despite its insistence that the unconstitutional conditions doctrine applies broadly across the Bill of Rights, the Court’s jurisprudence demonstrates that the doctrine …


Privacy And Property: Constitutional Concerns Of Dna Dragnet Testing, E. Wyatt Jones Apr 2023

Privacy And Property: Constitutional Concerns Of Dna Dragnet Testing, E. Wyatt Jones

Honors Projects

DNA dragnets have attracted both public and scholarly criticisms that have yet to be resolved by the Courts. This review will introduce a modern understanding of DNA analysis, a complete introduction to past and present Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment jurisprudence, and existing suggestions concerning similar issues in legal scholarship. Considering these contexts, this review concludes that a focus on privacy and property at once, with a particular sensitivity to the inseverable relationship between the two interests, is Constitutionally consistent with precedent and the most workable means of answering the question at hand.


Policing "Bad" Mothers, I. Bennett Capers Jan 2023

Policing "Bad" Mothers, I. Bennett Capers

Faculty Scholarship

Jessamine Chan’s The School for Good Mothers — a speculative novel about a mother who abandons her child for a few hours and is required to attend a school for good mothers to regain custody — may not be a great book, but it is a good yarn, and a page turner, and thought-provoking. Thought-provoking, because to measure her fitness to be a mother, the protagonist is assigned a robot doppelganger of her child — one that is sentient, one that seems almost real, one that might even pass the Turing test, and one that she is required not only …


Surveillance Technologies And Constitutional Law, Christopher Slobogin, Sarah Brayne Jan 2023

Surveillance Technologies And Constitutional Law, Christopher Slobogin, Sarah Brayne

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

This review focuses on government use of technology to observe, collect, or record potential criminal activity in real-time, as contrasted with “transaction surveillance” that involves government efforts to access already-existing records and exploit Big Data, topics that have been the focus of previous reviews (Brayne 2018, Ridgeway 2018). Even so limited, surveillance technologies come in many guises, including closed-circuit television, automated license plate and facial readers, aerial cameras, and GPS tracking. Also classifiable as surveillance technology are devices such as thermal and electromagnetic imagers that can “see” through walls and clothing. Finally, surveillance includes wiretapping and other forms of communication …


The Fourth Amendment's Constitutional Home, Gerald S. Dickinson Jan 2023

The Fourth Amendment's Constitutional Home, Gerald S. Dickinson

Articles

The home enjoys omnipresent status in American constitutional law. The Bill of Rights, peculiarly, has served as the central refuge for special protections to the home. This constitutional sanctuary has elicited an intriguing textual and doctrinal puzzle. A distinct thread has emerged that runs through the first five amendments delineating the home as a zone where rights emanating from speech, smut, gods, guns, soldiers, searches, sex, and self-incrimination enjoy special protections. However, the thread inexplicably unravels upon arriving at takings. There, the constitutional text omits and the Supreme Court’s doctrine excludes a special zone of safeguards to the home. This …


Rewriting Whren V. United States, Jonathan Feingold, Devon Carbado Apr 2022

Rewriting Whren V. United States, Jonathan Feingold, Devon Carbado

Faculty Scholarship

In 1996, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Whren v. United States—a unanimous opinion in which the Court effectively constitutionalized racial profiling. Despite its enduring consequences, Whren remains good law today. This Article rewrites the opinion. We do so, in part, to demonstrate how one might incorporate racial justice concerns into Fourth Amendment jurisprudence, a body of law that has long elided and marginalized the racialized dimensions of policing. A separate aim is to reveal the “false necessity” of the Whren outcome. The fact that Whren was unanimous, and that even progressive Justices signed on, might lead one to conclude that …


The Broken Fourth Amendment Oath, Laurent Sacharoff Mar 2022

The Broken Fourth Amendment Oath, Laurent Sacharoff

Sturm College of Law: Faculty Scholarship

The Fourth Amendment requires that warrants be supported by “Oath or affirmation.” Under current doctrine, a police officer may swear the oath to obtain a warrant merely by repeating the account of an informant. This Article shows, however, that the Fourth Amendment, as originally understood, required that the real accuser with personal knowledge swear the oath.

That real-accuser requirement persisted for nearly two centuries. Almost all federal courts and most state courts from 1850 to 1960 held that the oath, by its very nature, required a witness with personal knowledge. Only in 1960 did the Supreme Court hold in Jones …


Fourth Amendment Privacy In Public: A Fundamental Theory With Application To Location Tracking, Jordan Wallace-Wolf Jan 2022

Fourth Amendment Privacy In Public: A Fundamental Theory With Application To Location Tracking, Jordan Wallace-Wolf

Faculty Scholarship

When we walk out our front door, we are in public and other people may look at us. But intuitively, we don’t open ourselves up to unlimited scrutiny just by going outside. We retain some privacy, even in public. What is the source of this residual public-privacy, and how should the law recognize it without degrading the open character of public space?

The answer given by commentators, and most recently by the Supreme Court in Carpenter v. U.S., comes in the form of two related claims. The first is the chilling theory of the Fourth Amendment. According to this idea, …


Escaping Circularity: The Fourth Amendment And Property Law, João Marinotti Jan 2022

Escaping Circularity: The Fourth Amendment And Property Law, João Marinotti

Articles by Maurer Faculty

The Supreme Court’s “reasonable expectation of privacy” test under the Fourth Amendment has often been criticized as circular, and hence subjective and unpredictable. The Court is presumed to base its decisions on society’s expectations of privacy, while society’s expectations of privacy are themselves presumed to be based on the Court’s judgements. As a solution to this problem, property law has been repeatedly propounded as an allegedly independent, autonomous area of law from which the Supreme Court can glean reasonable expectations of privacy without falling back into tautological reasoning.

Such an approach presupposes that property law is not itself circular. If …


A New Report Of Entick V. Carrington (1765), Christian Burset, T. T. Arvind Jan 2022

A New Report Of Entick V. Carrington (1765), Christian Burset, T. T. Arvind

Journal Articles

The Supreme Court has described Entick v. Carrington (1765) as “the true and ultimate expression of constitutional law” for the Founding generation. For more than 250 years, judges and commentators have read that case for guidance about the rule of law, executive authority, and the original meaning of the Fourth and Fifth Amendments. But we have been reading a flawed version. This Article publishes, for the first time, a previously unknown manuscript report of Entick v. Carrington. We explain why this version is more reliable than other reports of the case, and how this new discovery challenges prevailing assumptions about …


Fourth Amendment Limits On Extensive Quarantine Surveillance, Benjamin Wolters Dec 2021

Fourth Amendment Limits On Extensive Quarantine Surveillance, Benjamin Wolters

Duke Journal of Constitutional Law & Public Policy Sidebar

The devastation wreaked by the COVID-19 pandemic spurred innovations in technology and public policy. Many countries rushed to implement extensive quarantines, and some introduced disease surveillance, including location tracking to enforce quarantines. Though the United States has never implemented high-tech quarantine surveillance, such technology will certainly be available for the next disease outbreak.

Absent significant doctrinal change, the Fourth Amendment likely bars some, but not all, forms of quarantine surveillance. Quarantine surveillance probably constitutes a Fourth Amendment “search” that generally must be backed by probable cause. This probable cause requirement, and its subcomponent of individualized suspicion, likely applies differently to …


Who Protects Whom: Federal Law As A Floor, Not A Ceiling, To Protect Students From Inappropriate Use Of Force By School Resource Officers, Elsa Haag Mar 2021

Who Protects Whom: Federal Law As A Floor, Not A Ceiling, To Protect Students From Inappropriate Use Of Force By School Resource Officers, Elsa Haag

Duke Journal of Constitutional Law & Public Policy Sidebar

Over the past forty years, students in the U.S. have experienced increasingly strict school discipline policies and increased police presence in schools. Sent into schools with the aim of improving security in the wake of mass shootings, school resource officers (SROs) are sworn law enforcement regularly assigned to schools. But there is a paucity of evidence that SROs are effective in preventing mass shootings or provide other significant benefits. Instead, research shows that the presence of SROs results in students achieving less and experiencing more physical and emotional harm, with long-term implications and costs for individuals and communities. As trained …


Rulifying Reasonable Expectations: Why Judicial Tests, Not Originalism, Create A More Determinate Fourth Amendment, Michael Gentithes Jan 2021

Rulifying Reasonable Expectations: Why Judicial Tests, Not Originalism, Create A More Determinate Fourth Amendment, Michael Gentithes

Con Law Center Articles and Publications

For decades, commentators have decried the Supreme Court’s Fourth Amendment search jurisprudence as a hopelessly confusing jumble. Critics save their harshest barbs for the judicially created “reasonable expectations of privacy” test, suggesting that it provides little guidance and leaves search cases open to wide judicial discretion. Motivated by such critiques, several Justices have recently claimed that an originalist approach could replace the reasonable expectations test, limit judicial discretion, and clarify the Fourth Amendment’s meaning.

This Article provides a comprehensive defense of the reasonable expectations test against originalist calls to abandon it. It notes two flaws in the originalist response. First, …


The Fourth Amendment’S Forgotten Free-Speech Dimensions, Aya Gruber Jan 2021

The Fourth Amendment’S Forgotten Free-Speech Dimensions, Aya Gruber

Publications

No abstract provided.


The Constitutionality Of Abortion, John M. Nerney May 2020

The Constitutionality Of Abortion, John M. Nerney

Senior Honors Theses

The purpose of this study is to determine whether abortion is constitutional under the Fourth Amendment. Essentially, the Supreme Court used what is known as the “right to privacy” which they created using the First, Fourth, Fifth and Ninth Amendments finding penumbras of the Bill of Rights, and in the concept of liberty guaranteed by the first section of the Fourteenth Amendment. This study addresses the history of the right to privacy and tries to show that the Supreme Court stretched the meaning of these Amendments beyond what the founders of the Constitution intended. This study analyzed the application of …


Kansas V. Glover And The Issue Of Reasonable Suspicion, Zach Kumar Jan 2020

Kansas V. Glover And The Issue Of Reasonable Suspicion, Zach Kumar

Duke Journal of Constitutional Law & Public Policy Sidebar

It is settled law that an officer may initiate a traffic stop when there is articulable and reasonable suspicion that the person stopped has committed, is committing, or is about to commit a crime. In Kansas v. Glover, the Supreme Court has an opportunity to clarify what constitutes “reasonable suspicion.” The Court will determine whether it is reasonable for an officer to seize a vehicle if the registered owner has a revoked license and there is no information to suggest that the person driving is not the owner of the car. This Commentary argues that the Court should uphold …


The Fourth Amendment Inventory As A Check On Digital Searches, Laurent Sacharoff Jan 2020

The Fourth Amendment Inventory As A Check On Digital Searches, Laurent Sacharoff

Sturm College of Law: Faculty Scholarship

Police and federal agents generally must obtain a warrant to search the tens of thousands of devices they seize each year. But once they have a warrant, courts afford these officers broad leeway to search the entire device, every file and folder, all metadata and deleted data, even if in search of only one incriminating file. Courts avow great reverence for the privacy of personal information under the Fourth Amendment but then claim there is no way to limit where an officer might find the target files, or know where the suspect may have hidden them.

These courts have a …


Lawful Searches Incident To Unlawful Arrests: A Reform Proposal, Mark A. Summers Dec 2019

Lawful Searches Incident To Unlawful Arrests: A Reform Proposal, Mark A. Summers

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


A Warrant Requirement Resurgence: The Fourth Amendment In The Roberts Court, Benjamin Priester Jan 2019

A Warrant Requirement Resurgence: The Fourth Amendment In The Roberts Court, Benjamin Priester

Journal Publications

Over many years, the United States Supreme Court has developed an extensive body of precedent interpreting and enforcing the provisions of the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures by law enforcement agents conducting criminal investigations. Commonly called the "warrant requirement," one key component of this case law operates to deem some police investigatory techniques to be unconstitutional unless they are conducted pursuant to a search warrant issued in advance by a judge. The terms of the doctrine and its exceptions also authorize other investigatory actions as constitutionally permissible without a search warrant. The …


Functional Equivalence And Residual Rights Post-Carpenter: Framing A Test Consistent With Precedent And Original Meaning, Laura K. Donohue Jan 2019

Functional Equivalence And Residual Rights Post-Carpenter: Framing A Test Consistent With Precedent And Original Meaning, Laura K. Donohue

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The Carpenter Court held that warrantless access to seven or more days of cell site location information (CSLI) constitutes a violation of the reasonable expectation of privacy that individuals have in the whole of their physical movements. But the grounds on which the Court drew a line characterize all sorts of digital records—including those at issue in Miller and Smith, belying the majority’s claim that the decision leaves third-party doctrine intact. Instead of avoiding Katz’s pitfalls, moreover, the Court emphasized voluntary assumption of risk, doubling down on the subjective nature of judicial determination. The decision will likely lead to …


A Cognitive Theory Of The Third-Party Doctrine And Digital Papers, H. Brian Holland Sep 2018

A Cognitive Theory Of The Third-Party Doctrine And Digital Papers, H. Brian Holland

Faculty Scholarship

For nearly 200 years, an individual’s personal papers enjoyed near-absolute protection from government search and seizure. That is no longer the case. With the widespread adoption of cloud-based information processing and storage services, the third-party doctrine operates to effectively strip our digital papers of meaningful Fourth Amendment protections.

This Article presents a new approach to reconciling current third-party doctrine with the technological realities of modern personal information processing. Our most sensitive data is now processed and stored on cloud computing systems owned and operated by third parties. Although we may consider these services to be private and generally secure, the …


Constitutional Shapeshifting: Giving The Fourth Amendment Substance In The Technology Driven World Of Criminal Investigation, Gerald S. Reamey Jun 2018

Constitutional Shapeshifting: Giving The Fourth Amendment Substance In The Technology Driven World Of Criminal Investigation, Gerald S. Reamey

Faculty Articles

For the first hundred years of the Fourth Amendment's life, gains in the technology of surveillance were modest. With the advent of miniaturization and ever-increasing sophistication and capability of surveillance and detection devices, the Supreme Court has struggled to adapt its understanding of "search" to the constantly evolving devices and methods that challenge contemporary understanding of privacy. In response to surveillance innovations, the Court has taken varying positions, focusing first on property-based intrusions by government, then shifting to privacy expectations, and, more recently, resurrecting the view that a trespass to property can define search.

This article surveys this constitutional odyssey, …


Cybersurveillance Intrusions And An Evolving Katz Privacy Test, Margaret Hu Jan 2018

Cybersurveillance Intrusions And An Evolving Katz Privacy Test, Margaret Hu

Scholarly Articles

To contextualize why a new approach to the Fourth Amendment is essential, this Article describes two emerging cybersurveillance tools. The first Cybersurveillance tool, Geofeedia, has been deployed by state and local law enforcement. Geofeedia uses a process known as "geofencing" to draw a virtual barrier around a particular geographic region, and then identifies and tracks public social media posts within that region for predictive policing purposes. The second tool, Future Attribute Screening Technology (FAST), is under development by the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS). FAST is another predictive policing tool that analyzes physiological and behavioral signals with the …


Unlocking The Fifth Amendment: Passwords And Encrypted Devices, Laurent Sacharoff Jan 2018

Unlocking The Fifth Amendment: Passwords And Encrypted Devices, Laurent Sacharoff

Sturm College of Law: Faculty Scholarship

Each year, law enforcement seizes thousands of electronic devices — smartphones, laptops, and notebooks — that it cannot open without the suspect’s password. Without this password, the information on the device sits completely scrambled behind a wall of encryption. Sometimes agents will be able to obtain the information by hacking, discovering copies of data on the cloud, or obtaining the password voluntarily from the suspects themselves. But when they cannot, may the government compel suspects to disclose or enter their password?

This Article considers the Fifth Amendment protection against compelled disclosures of passwords — a question that has split and …


Police Ignorance And Mistake Of Law Under The Fourth Amendment, Eang L. Ngov Jan 2018

Police Ignorance And Mistake Of Law Under The Fourth Amendment, Eang L. Ngov

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Game Of Drones: Rolling The Dice With Unmanned Aerial Vehicles And Privacy, Rebecca L. Scharf Jan 2018

Game Of Drones: Rolling The Dice With Unmanned Aerial Vehicles And Privacy, Rebecca L. Scharf

Scholarly Works

This Article offers a practical three-part test for courts and law enforcement to utilize when faced with drone and privacy issues. Specifically addressing the question: how should courts analyze the Fourth Amendment’s protection against ‘unreasonable searches’ in the context of drones?

The Supreme Court’s Fourth Amendment jurisprudence produced an intricate framework to address issues arising out of the intersection of technology and privacy interests. In prominent decisions, including United States v. Katz, California v. Ciraolo, Kyllo v. United States, and most notably, United States v. Jones, the Court focused on whether the use of a single …


Terry Stops And Frisks: The Troubling Use Of Common Sense In A World Of Empirical Data, David Rudovsky, David A. Harris Jan 2018

Terry Stops And Frisks: The Troubling Use Of Common Sense In A World Of Empirical Data, David Rudovsky, David A. Harris

All Faculty Scholarship

The investigative detention doctrine first announced in Terry v. Ohio and amplified over the past fifty years has been much analyzed, praised, and criticized from a number of perspectives. Significantly, however, over this time period commentators have only occasionally questioned the Supreme Court’s “common sense” judgments regarding the factors sufficient to establish reasonable suspicion for stops and frisks. For years, the Court has provided no empirical basis for its judgments, due in large part to the lack of reliable data. Now, with the emergence of comprehensive data on these police practices, much can be learned about the predictive power of …


Terry Stops And Frisks: The Troubling Use Of Common Sense In A World Of Empirical Data, David A. Harris, David Rudovsky Jan 2018

Terry Stops And Frisks: The Troubling Use Of Common Sense In A World Of Empirical Data, David A. Harris, David Rudovsky

Articles

The investigative detention doctrine first announced in Terry v. Ohio and amplified over the past fifty years has been much analyzed, praised, and criticized from a number of perspectives. Significantly, however, over this time period commentators have only occasionally questioned the Supreme Court’s “common sense” judgments regarding the factors sufficient to establish reasonable suspicion for stops and frisks. For years, the Court has provided no empirical basis for its judgments, due in large part to the lack of reliable data. Now, with the emergence of comprehensive data on these police practices, much can be learned about the predictive power of …


Ditech Financial, Llc Vs. Buckles, 133 Nev. Adv. Op. 64 (September 14, 2017), Landon Littlefield Sep 2017

Ditech Financial, Llc Vs. Buckles, 133 Nev. Adv. Op. 64 (September 14, 2017), Landon Littlefield

Nevada Supreme Court Summaries

In an en banc opinion, the Court determined that NRS 200.620 does not apply to telephone recordings made by a party outside of Nevada who uses equipment outside of Nevada to record a conversation with a person in Nevada without that person’s consent.