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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: State constitution
The third party doctrine after Carpenter does not make IP addresses and subscriber information protected by the Fourth Amendment or the state constitution. State v. Mixon, 2021 Ariz. LEXIS 3 (Jan. 11, 2021):
A demand for records from the federal government doesn’t state a claim under Washington state law when plaintiff grudgingly gave up the records. Daviscourt v. United States, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 246610 (W.D. Wash. Dec. 10, 2020)*:
Resolving tension in its cases, Pennsylvania holds that its state automobile exception requires both probable cause and an actual exigency. Commonwealth v. Alexander, 2020 Pa. LEXIS 6439 (Dec. 22, 2020):
“Our precedent clearly establishes that releasing a police dog to bite a person who neither endangers officers nor attempts to flee or resist arrest violates that person’s Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable seizure. … Viewing the evidence … Continue reading
Also in a death penalty case, defendant’s CSLI was obtained by court order four years before Carpenter. The court finds that, while it wouldn’t treat the “order” as the functional equivalent of a search warrant [“reasonable grounds” wasn’t probable cause; … Continue reading
GA: Where state constitution or statute are recognized to be susceptible to a broader interpretation than the 4A, appellant has to show why or how; otherwise, it’s waived
Defendant also relies on the state constitution as well as statute in addition to the Fourth Amendment. “However, Hinkson makes no argument that state law provides a rule substantively different as applied to this case from that of the Fourth … Continue reading
The Montana Constitution’s more “robust protection from government intrusions” still only protects against state action. A private actor recording a conversation without impetus from the state was not unreasonable. State v. Wolfe, 2020 MT 260, 2020 Mont. LEXIS 2436 (Oct. … Continue reading
N.D.Ind.: Defense counsel not ineffective for challenging state search under state constitution and not 4A too
Defense counsel was not ineffective for making a state constitutional challenge to his search and not a Fourth Amendment one. If anything, the state challenge would have potentially provided him a better chance at relief, but it ultimately didn’t. If … Continue reading
Massachusetts SJC revises and loosens its standard for claiming racial motivation for traffic stops under state constitution
Massachusetts SJC revises and loosens its standard for claiming racial motivation for traffic stops under state constitution. Commonwealth v. Long, 2020 Mass. LEXIS 520 (Sept. 17, 2020):
A ruse police text message exchange with defendant with one of his known contacts violated his reasonable expectation of privacy under the state constitution’s right of privacy. State v. Bowman, 2020 Wash. App. LEXIS 2463 (Sept. 8, 2020):
AK: Aerial surveillance of a residential backyard to photograph it with a telephoto lens violates the state constitution
Aerial surveillance of a residential backyard to photograph it with a telephoto lens violates the Alaska Constitution where the landowner took precautions to protect his privacy at ground-level. McKelvey v. State, 2020 Alas. App. LEXIS 71 (Sept. 4, 2020):
Cal.: Defense SDT for Facebook account of shooting victim remanded for reconsideration under standards of state constitution of victim’s privacy rights
In a California specific holding, a criminal defense subpoena to Facebook for a shooting victim’s Facebook account (private and public) made enough of a sufficient showing of necessity to get a remand for consideration of the factors that justify intrusion … Continue reading
Massachusetts holds long term pole camera surveillance of one’s home can violate REP and state constitution
Long term surveillance of defendant’s homes with pole cameras wasn’t a Fourth Amendment violation but it could violate the Massachusetts Constitution. Two defendants show a reasonable expectation of privacy under a “mosaic theory” which has been recognized in Massachusetts. Remanded … Continue reading
The state waived its challenge to the defendant’s reliance on the state constitution by failure to litigate it below. Waiver claims have to be applied evenhandedly between the state and defendants. Commonwealth v. Wolfel, 2020 Pa. LEXIS 3797 (July 21, … Continue reading
LaKeith Faulkner & Christopher R. Green, State-Constitutional Departures From the Supreme Court: The Fourth Amendment, 89 Miss. L.J. _ (2020). Abstract: