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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."
“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
"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: FISA
Lawfare: A Way Forward on Section 702 Queries by Elizabeth Goitein & Robert Litt:
The Atlantic: The Populist Right’s Elitist Approach to Surveillance Abuses by Conor Friedersdorf: If only the Republican Party were as attentive to the violations of the rights of ordinary Americans as it is to the FBI’s treatment of Donald Trump.
Curious about the FISA process? See Just Security: It Ain’t Easy Getting a FISA Warrant: I Was an FBI Agent and Should Know
Just Security: It Ain’t Easy Getting a FISA Warrant: I Was an FBI Agent and Should Know by Asha Rangappa from March 2017.
Lawfare: The Dubious Legal Claim Behind #ReleaseTheMemo by Orin Kerr: [Spoiler alert: I agree that it is more than dubious since two branches of our government have absolutely no clue what the Fourth Amendment means. It’s like a Franks challenge: … Continue reading
Foreign Policy Research Institute: A Response to “Americans, the NSA is Still Listening: Section 702 is Alive and Well”
Foreign Policy Research Institute: A Response to “Americans, the NSA is Still Listening: Section 702 is Alive and Well” by George W. Croner:
American Enterprise Institute: Congress renews major surveillance law with little change: The end of an era?
American Enterprise Institute: Congress renews major surveillance law with little change: The end of an era? by Claude Barfield:
CNET: NSA surveillance programs renewed by Senate by Laura Hautala, and so much for the allegedly threatened filibuster. TechCrunch: Why you should care about the warrantless surveillance bill on its way to Trump’s desk by Taylor Hatmaker Cato: Fear and … Continue reading
CNN: Rand Paul threatens to filibuster over FISA surveillance program by Veronica Stracqualursi: Paul said he would vote to reauthorize Section 702, however, if there are protections in place for Americans’ private information, and added that he supports the USA … Continue reading
Forbes: Opinion: Congress Decides Fourth Amendment Is Outdated 256-164 by Frank Miniter: It’s controversial because the National Security Agency (NSA) and other agencies also listen in on an unknown number of communications from American citizens—something the Fourth Amendment was written … Continue reading
NYTimes: House Extends Surveillance Law, Rejecting New Privacy Safeguards by Charlie Savage, Eileen Sullivan, and Nicholas Fandos:
Wired: Congress Renews Warrantless Surveillance—And Makes It Even Worse by Louise Matsakis:
NYTimes: Surveillance and Privacy Debate Reaches Pivotal Moment in Congress by Charlie Savage: