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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: National security
WaPo: U.S. warrant requirement for surveillance program could hamper cyber cases, FBI official warns
WaPo: U.S. warrant requirement for surveillance program could hamper cyber cases, FBI official warns (“A top FBI official said Wednesday that a warrant requirement being floated for a controversial expiring surveillance program would be a big impediment to cyber investigations. … Continue reading
Defendant’s seizure hiding behind a motorcycle for a victim’s ID to determine whether he was involved in a car jacking was reasonable. United States v. Dangerfield-Hill, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 168306 (E.D. Pa. Sep. 19, 2022). District court’s injunction against … Continue reading
techdirt: Utah Cops Used ‘Reverse Warrants’ To Track Down A Bunch Of Petty Criminals by Tim Cushing (“Whenever cops discover a new means or method of tracking people that seems to run afoul of the letter (if not the spirit) … Continue reading
NYT: Court Chides F.B.I., but Re-Approves Warrantless Surveillance Program by Charlie Savage (“Newly disclosed episodes in which analysts improperly searched for data about Americans largely came before changes at the bureau.”)
WaPo: First Amendment groups ask Supreme Court for access to surveillance court opinions by Spencer S. Hsu:
Reason: Did the Ninth Circuit Create a New Fourth Amendment Notice Requirement for Surveillance Practices?
Reason: Did the Ninth Circuit Create a New Fourth Amendment Notice Requirement for Surveillance Practices? by Orin S. Kerr (“An overlooked part of United States v. Moalin could have a major impact on surveillance law.”)
CA9: Bulk data collection under FISA violates 4A and defs were entitled to notice of it; no exclusion, however
Bulk data collection under FISA violated the Fourth Amendment. A criminal defendant is entitled to notice of FISA collection. However, exclusion not applied in this case because defendants weren’t prejudiced. United States v. Moalin, 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 28119 (9th … Continue reading
NYT: House to Vote on Limiting FBI Power to Collect Americans’ Internet Data NYTimes: House to Vote on Limiting F.B.I. Power to Collect Americans’ Internet Data by Charlie Savage (“Lawmakers compromised on an ambiguously worded amendment that narrows a failed … Continue reading
NYTimes: How National Security Surveillance Nabs More Than Spies (“The case against Nassif Sami Daher and Kamel Mohammad Rammal, two Michigan men accused of food stamp fraud, hardly seemed exceptional. But the tool that agents used to investigate them was … Continue reading
The Daily Beast: The Surveillance State Quietly Lost a Major Court Case by Spencer Ackerman (“The feds have a habit of rifling without a warrant through NSA data warehouses to find dirt on American citizens. An appeals court ruling may … Continue reading
CNS News: What the Progressive Socialist Left Is Really Saying by Allen West: These same individuals, leftists, aided by their complicit media accomplices, see nothing wrong with the violation of Fourth Amendment individual rights by a secret court, especially if … Continue reading
techdirt: DOJ Headed By William Barr Asked To Explain Warrantless Bulk Data Collection William Barr Authorized 27 Years Ago When He Was The Head Of The DOJ
techdirt: DOJ Headed By William Barr Asked To Explain Warrantless Bulk Data Collection William Barr Authorized 27 Years Ago When He Was The Head Of The DOJ by Tim Cushing:
NBC News: The FBI’s warrant system for spying on Americans is a mess, the IG report shows by Ken Dilanian (“Analysis: The report found an FBI process so rife with errors that the bureau’s director immediately issued a statement saying … Continue reading
Reason: Giving Government Vast Snooping Authority Is One Thing Democrats and Republicans Both Like by J.D. Tuccille (“‘The USA PATRIOT Act broadly expands law enforcement’s surveillance and investigative powers and represents one of the most significant threats to civil liberties, … Continue reading
techdirt: Supreme Court’s Warrant Requirement For Cell Site Location Info Apparently Killed Another Domestic Surveillance Program
techdirt: Supreme Court’s Warrant Requirement For Cell Site Location Info Apparently Killed Another Domestic Surveillance Program by Tim Cushing:
Democracy Now: FBI Carried Out Thousands of Unconstitutional Searches of NSA Archives:
WSJ: FBI’s Use of Foreign-Surveillance Tool Violated Americans’ Privacy Rights, Court Found by Dustin Volz and Byron Tau (“U.S. discloses ruling last year by Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that FBI’s data queries of U.S. citizens were unconstitutional.”) NTImes: F.B.I. Practices … Continue reading
TechCrunch: NSA says warrantless searches of Americans’ data rose in 2018 by Zack Whittaker: The data, published Tuesday by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), revealed a 28% rise in the number of targeted search terms used … Continue reading
Politico: Judge cites state secrets risk in dismissing warrantless wiretapping suit by Josh Gerstein:
InfoSecurity: Congress Stops NSAs Collecting Phone Records by Kacy Zurkus. It’s a bill, not an act: The US Congress has proposed an act that would repeal the National Security Agency’s (NSA’s) authority to access basic business records and the phone … Continue reading