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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: State constitution
“May a police officer, without reasonable suspicion of criminal activity, run a license plate check on a passing vehicle? The federal courts, interpreting the U.S. Constitution, have answered this question in the affirmative. Jennifer Oryall, who was found to be … Continue reading
DE: State const’l claim Caballes should be rejected would not be considered on mere plain error review
Defendant for the first time on appeal raised a state constitutional argument that Caballes on dog sniffs as searched should be rejected. The court declines to go there on plain error review. Bradley v. State, 2018 Del. LEXIS 477 (Oct. … Continue reading
Indiana recognizes attenuation doctrine under state constitution’s exclusionary rule. Wright v. State, 2018 Ind. LEXIS 565 (Oct. 4, 2018):
Defendant has no right to counsel before being asked for consent to a DRE. Pirtle on advice of rights before obtaining consent from a person in custody doesn’t apply here. Dycus v. State, 2018 Ind. LEXIS 564 (Oct. 3, 2018):
In State v. Skinner, 10 So.3d 1212 (La. 2009), the state supreme court held that there was a state constitutional warrant requirement for defendant’s medical records. Failing to do it right can’t be cured by a later warrant after it’s … Continue reading
Vermont’s state constitution grants a reasonable expectation of privacy to open fields posted with no trespassing signs. A game warden (vested by state law with all law enforcement powers) violated defendant’s reasonable expectation of privacy by entering upon his posted … Continue reading
Defendant’s three sentence motion to suppress said it would follow up with authority. The motion and hearing without that authority narrowed the scope of the claim and abandoned the justification for the stop and any state constitutional claim. What developed … Continue reading
Iowa declines to follow SCOTUS cases on the Fourth Amendment in determining validity of inventory searches under the state constitution. The asserted justifications for inventory under the Fourth Amendment hold no weight on closer examination, and vehicle owners should get … Continue reading
NM: State’s DNA collection act const’l under King; def has no interest in whether his DNA might end up tested against a cold case was lawfully collected
The state has an interest in collecting DNA from arrestees, and King is followed. Defendant doesn’t make any credible argument why the state constitution should be applied except that he shouldn’t have his DNA compared to that on file from … Continue reading
OR: Guest standing is functional to the relationship to the residence and here didn’t cover under the back steps
Guest standing has a functional element. Defendant was a guest in the home of another and their relationship was founded on drugs. While defendant would have standing in the home, he didn’t under the back steps, where, incidentally, he’d been … Continue reading
PA: Information from CI’s recording in the home not suppressible even though full conversation might be
Recordings made in defendant’s house were not relied upon in issuing the search warrant for his house, so they can’t be a basis of suppression under the wiretap statute. As a Fourth Amendment matter, under Hoffa, the recordings made inside … Continue reading
“It is well established that an individual on probation has a reduced expectation of privacy, and a community corrections officer (CCO) may conduct a warrantless search if he or she suspects the individual has violated a probation condition. The issue … Continue reading