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Full-Text Articles in Law

Structural Sensor Surveillance, Andrew Guthrie Ferguson Nov 2020

Structural Sensor Surveillance, Andrew Guthrie Ferguson

Articles in Law Reviews & Other Academic Journals

City infrastructure is getting smarter. Embedded smart sensors in roads, lampposts, and electrical grids offer the government a way to regulate municipal resources and the police a new power to monitor citizens. This structural sensor surveillance, however, raises a difficult constitutional question: Does the creation of continuously-recording, aggregated, long-term data collection systems violate the Fourth Amendment? After all, recent Supreme Court cases suggest that technologies that allow police to monitor location, reveal personal patterns, and track personal details for long periods of time are Fourth Amendment searches which require a probable cause warrant. This Article uses the innovation of smart …


A Third-Party Doctrine For Digital Metadata, H. Brian Holland Apr 2020

A Third-Party Doctrine For Digital Metadata, H. Brian Holland

Faculty Scholarship

For more than four decades, the third-party doctrine was understood as a bright-line, categorical rule: there is no legitimate privacy interest in any data that is voluntarily disclosed or conveyed to a third party. But this simple rule has dramatic effects in a world of ubiquitous networked computing, mobile technologies, and the commodification of information. The digital devices that facilitate our daily participation in modern society are connected through automated infrastructures that are designed to generate vast quantities of data, nearly all of which is captured, utilized, and stored by third-party service providers. Under a plain reading of the third-party …


The Origins And Legacy Of The Fourth Amendment Reasonableness Balancing Model, Kit Kinports Jan 2020

The Origins And Legacy Of The Fourth Amendment Reasonableness Balancing Model, Kit Kinports

Journal Articles

The overwhelming majority of the Supreme Court’s Fourth Amendment cases over the past fifty years have been resolved using a warrant presumption model, which determines the constitutionality of a search or seizure by asking whether law enforcement officials had probable cause and a warrant, or some exception to those requirements. But three decisions, beginning in 2001, mysteriously deviated from that approach and applied a reasonableness balancing model, upholding the searches in those cases after considering the totality of the circumstances and weighing the competing government interests against the defendant’s privacy interests. This balancing approach has justifiably been criticized as amorphous, …


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 …


Detention By Any Other Name, Sandra G. Mayson Jan 2020

Detention By Any Other Name, Sandra G. Mayson

All Faculty Scholarship

An unaffordable bail requirement has precisely the same effect as an order of pretrial detention: the accused person is jailed pending trial. It follows as a logical matter that an order requiring an unaffordable bail bond as a condition of release should be subject to the same substantive and procedural protections as an order denying bail altogether. Yet this has not been the practice.

This Article lays out the logical and legal case for the proposition that an order that functionally imposes detention must be treated as an order of detention. It addresses counterarguments and complexities, including both empirical and …


Police Violence And The African-American Procedural Habitus, Trevor George Gardner Jan 2020

Police Violence And The African-American Procedural Habitus, Trevor George Gardner

Scholarship@WashULaw

How should an African American respond to a race-based police stop? What approach, disposition, or tactic will minimize his risk within the context of the police stop of being subject to police violence? This Essay advances a conversation among criminal procedural theorists about citizen agency within the field of police-administered criminal procedure, highlighting “The Talk” that parents have with their African American children regarding how to respond to police seizure. It argues that the most prominent version of The Talk—the one in which parents call for absolute deference to police authority in the event of a police stop—may be as …