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Fourth Amendment cases,
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"If it was easy, everybody would be doing it. It isn't, and they don't."
“Life is not a matter of holding good cards, but of playing a poor hand well.”
–Josh Billings (pseudonym of Henry Wheeler Shaw), Josh Billings on Ice, and Other Things (1868) (erroneously attributed to Robert Louis Stevenson, among others)
“I am still learning.”
—Domenico Giuntalodi (but misattributed to Michelangelo Buonarroti (common phrase throughout 1500's)).
"Love work; hate mastery over others; and avoid intimacy with the government."
—Shemaya, in the Thalmud
"It is a pleasant world we live in, sir, a very pleasant world. There are bad people in it, Mr. Richard, but if there were no bad people, there would be no good lawyers."
—Charles Dickens, “The Old Curiosity Shop ... With a Frontispiece. From a Painting by Geo. Cattermole, Etc.” 255 (1848)
"A system of law that not only makes certain conduct criminal, but also lays down rules for the conduct of the authorities, often becomes complex in its application to individual cases, and will from time to time produce imperfect results, especially if one's attention is confined to the particular case at bar. Some criminals do go free because of the necessity of keeping government and its servants in their place. That is one of the costs of having and enforcing a Bill of Rights. This country is built on the assumption that the cost is worth paying, and that in the long run we are all both freer and safer if the Constitution is strictly enforced."
—Williams v. Nix, 700 F. 2d 1164, 1173 (8th Cir. 1983) (Richard Sheppard Arnold, J.), rev'd Nix v. Williams, 467 US. 431 (1984).
"The criminal goes free, if he must, but it is the law that sets him free. Nothing can destroy a government more quickly than its failure to observe its own laws, or worse, its disregard of the charter of its own existence."
—Mapp v. Ohio, 367 U.S. 643, 659 (1961).
"Any costs the exclusionary rule are costs imposed directly by the Fourth Amendment."
—Yale Kamisar, 86 Mich.L.Rev. 1, 36 n. 151 (1987).
"There have been powerful hydraulic pressures throughout our history that bear heavily on the Court to water down constitutional guarantees and give the police the upper hand. That hydraulic pressure has probably never been greater than it is today."
— Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 39 (1968) (Douglas, J., dissenting).
"The great end, for which men entered into society, was to secure their property."
—Entick v. Carrington, 19 How.St.Tr. 1029, 1066, 95 Eng. Rep. 807 (C.P. 1765)
"It is a fair summary of history to say that the safeguards of liberty have frequently been forged in controversies involving not very nice people. And so, while we are concerned here with a shabby defrauder, we must deal with his case in the context of what are really the great themes expressed by the Fourth Amendment."
—United States v. Rabinowitz, 339 U.S. 56, 69 (1950) (Frankfurter, J., dissenting)
"The course of true law pertaining to searches and seizures, as enunciated here, has not–to put it mildly–run smooth."
—Chapman v. United States, 365 U.S. 610, 618 (1961) (Frankfurter, J., concurring).
"A search is a search, even if it happens to disclose nothing but the bottom of a turntable."
—Arizona v. Hicks, 480 U.S. 321, 325 (1987)
"For the Fourth Amendment protects people, not places. What a person knowingly exposes to the public, even in his own home or office, is not a subject of Fourth Amendment protection. ... But what he seeks to preserve as private, even in an area accessible to the public, may be constitutionally protected."
—Katz v. United States, 389 U.S. 347, 351 (1967)
“Experience should teach us to be most on guard to protect liberty when the Government’s purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.”
—United States v. Olmstead, 277 U.S. 438, 479 (1925) (Brandeis, J., dissenting)
“Liberty—the freedom from unwarranted intrusion by government—is as easily lost through insistent nibbles by government officials who seek to do their jobs too well as by those whose purpose it is to oppress; the piranha can be as deadly as the shark.”
—United States v. $124,570, 873 F.2d 1240, 1246 (9th Cir. 1989)
"You can't always get what you want / But if you try sometimes / You just might find / You get what you need."
—Mick Jagger & Keith Richards
"In Germany, they first came for the communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Catholic. Then they came for me–and by that time there was nobody left to speak up."
—Martin Niemöller (1945) [he served seven years in a concentration camp]
“You know, most men would get discouraged by now. Fortunately for you, I am not most men!”"The point of the Fourth Amendment, which often is not grasped by zealous officers, is not that it denies law enforcement the support of the usual inferences which reasonable men draw from evidence. Its protection consists in requiring that those inferences be drawn by a neutral and detached magistrate instead of being judged by the officer engaged in the often competitive enterprise of ferreting out crime."
---Pepé Le Pew
—Johnson v. United States, 333 U.S. 10, 13-14 (1948)
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Category Archives: Uncategorized
D.Neb.: Failure to mention lack of ShotSpotter alert in SW affidavit after seeing possible evidence inside SUV not material
Police responding to a shots fired call looked through the windows of defendant’s Tahoe and saw a gun magazine. Failure to mention the lack of a ShotSpotter alert wasn’t material. United States v. Johnson, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 164666 (D. … Continue reading
Bill of Rights Day is December 15th
Reason: How Hippies Saved the Fourth Amendment by Sean Howe (“The Nixon administration did everything it could to curb antiwar activism. Then the courts said it had gone too far.”)
“We … hold that Wayne County violated that Constitution when it seized plaintiffs’ personal vehicles—which were vital to their transportation and livelihoods—with no timely process to contest the seizure. We further hold that Wayne County was required to provide an … Continue reading
techdirt: Kansas State Police Tell Court It’s Too Much To Ask For Troopers To Respect The Constitution
techdirt: Kansas State Police Tell Court It’s Too Much To Ask For Troopers To Respect The Constitution by Tim Cushing:
Today is my 50th anniversary as a lawyer, sworn in at 9:00 am, Friday August 31, 1973, by Jimmy Hawkins, the Clerk of the Arkansas Supreme Court. (The bar results were out at noon Saturday, August 25th. I don’t remember … Continue reading
Department of Data, Washington Post: The Fourth Amendment (254,471) is the fourth most cited constitutional amendment in judicial opinions after the Fourteenth (501,271), Fifth (306,821), and Sixth (288,832) Amendments per LexisNexis. Judges have cited the Fourteenth Amendment half a million … Continue reading
CO granted review: Does IP address at one house permit a search of neighboring houses, too, if the signal reaches there?
Does IP address at one house permit a search of neighboring houses, too, if the signal reaches there? That’s not the question exactly, but close enough. Dhyne v. People, 2023 Colo. LEXIS 779 (Aug. 7, 2023)*:
E.D.N.Y.: In a murder for hire case, a two year delay between the killing and the search didn’t make it presumably stale
In a murder for hire case, a two year delay between the homicide and the search warrant for defendant’s premises did not make the warrant presumably stale. The warrant sought digital evidence, and there were four conspirators and it spanned … Continue reading
Shaw v. Jones, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 126478 (D. Kan. July 21, 2023):
techdirt: Court Says It’s Fine For Cops To Use Cell Phones To Peep Into People’s Cars by Tim Cushing (“What is ‘plain view?’ Cops claim it’s anything anyone could see if they happened to be in the same place at … Continue reading
The officer told defendant he’d get a telephonic warrant for a blood draw, and defendant responded with threats to follow him home. They were admissible at trial. State v. Hardin, 2023 MT 132, 2023 Mont. LEXIS 701 (July 11, 2023). … Continue reading
E.D.Mich.: Telling a detainee in a traffic stop to come to the rear of the car is not an unreasonable seizure
Telling a detainee in a traffic stop to come to the rear of the car is not an unreasonable seizure. United States v. Holmes, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99976 (E.D. Mich. June 8, 2023). The trial court erred in suppressing … Continue reading
NYT: Here’s What Happens When Your Lawyer Uses ChatGPT by Benjamin Weiser (“A lawyer representing a man who sued an airline relied on artificial intelligence to help prepare a court filing. It did not go well.”):
Defendant was pulled over for a traffic stop and was at his mother’s house. He tossed his jacket over the fence into her yard, and that was not an abandonment of his reasonable expectation of privacy in the jacket. Lying … Continue reading
Reason: What Would An Originalist Fourth Amendment Require? by Orin S. Kerr
NYT: A.I. Is Coming for Lawyers, Again by Steve Lohr (“Previous advances in A.I. inspired predictions that the law was the lucrative profession most likely to suffer job losses. It didn’t happen. Is this time different?”):
NPR: Feds barged into the wrong hotel room during a drill, then detained the guest inside (“Federal agents and military personnel conducting a training exercise at a Boston hotel interrogated an unsuspecting civilian after they entered the wrong room by … Continue reading
NYLJ: Race and the Fourth Amendment: Defendants Raise Issue in Suppression Motions (“This article will examine how courts are considering race as a factor in a Fourth Amendment analysis, and how defendants are beginning to raise this issue in suppression … Continue reading
CNS: Prison warden faces suit for firing guard after strip search (“An Arkansas federal court allowed a prison guard to bring her retaliatory seizure and unlawful seizure claims against the prison warden, who fired her a few days after she … Continue reading