- N.D.Ill.: Ptf adequately pled that def officers used SWs as excuse to commit theft and robberies of search targets
- D.N.M.: Pocket and backpack search and patdown of 21 students at school for stolen money was with RS so officer gets QI
- W.D.Tenn.: Seizure of clothing from hospital room floor was justified by plain view
- Slate: Biometrics vs. the Fifth Amendment
- New Law Review Article: Fourth Amendment Textualism
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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: Subpoenas / Nat’l Security Letters
NY Times: Prosecutors’ Secrecy Orders on Subpoenas Stir Constitutional Questions by Stephanie Clifford: Marked with an official seal, the federal subpoena arrived at the red brick offices of Zuccarello, Zerillo & Co., an accounting firm in Whitestone, Queens, in early … Continue reading
D.Md.: Gov’t justified its NSL in this case in classified filings; nondisclosure provision here survives First Amendment scrutiny
The government justified its NSL in this case in classified filings, which will be supplemented with redacted versions. The court finds that the nondisclosure requirement survives First Amendment scrutiny, but the government is required by the USA FREEDOM Act to … Continue reading
The Right to Financial Privacy Act was passed in response to Miller, but bank customers can waive privacy in their account records during an investigation, aside from process being applied. Bond v. United States Postal Serv. Fed. Credit Union, 2015 … Continue reading
An SEC subpoena was narrow and directed at company emails. It complied with the Fourth Amendment. The third party doctrine is not involved. United States SEC v. Karroum, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 164718 (D.D.C. Dec. 9, 2015). Petitioner raised a … Continue reading
The Libertarian Republic: Congress Set To Limit Judge-Less Subpoenas At Heart Of Privacy Debate by Mark Tapscott A measure protecting Internet Service Providers against judge-less subpoenas issued by federal bureaucrats has 305 congressional co-sponsors and seems headed toward passage. The … Continue reading
WI: John Doe campaign finance investigation special prosecutor invalidly appointed; all materials gathered by SW and subpoena must be destroyed
In the Wisconsin campaign finance John Doe investigation with a special prosecutor, the state Supreme Court concludes that the appointment of the special prosecutor was statutorily invalid, and the materials gathered by search warrant and subpoena will ultimately have to … Continue reading
NY Times: Scope of National Security Inquiry Is Revealed by Colin Moynihan and Charlie Savage: After a decade of court battles, the Internet entrepreneur who filed the first legal challenge to a type of secret administrative order known as a … Continue reading
WaPo: Battling the modern American administrative state by George Will: As the administrative state distorts the United States’ constitutional architecture, Clarence Thomas becomes America’s indispensable constitutionalist. Now in his 25th year on the Supreme Court, he is urging the judicial … Continue reading
WaPo: Here’s a way the government can easily get your phone records without asking a judge by Jerry Markon: Administrative subpoenas are increasingly common, hard to fight and, some say, overly intrusive.
Washington Examiner: Administrative subpoenas: Relics of the Star Chamber by Mark J. Fitzgibbons: The Drug Enforcement Administration is involved in a lawsuit for targeting medical records using judge-less warrants called “administrative subpoenas.” The quantity of DEA administrative subpoenas issued unilaterally, … Continue reading
UT: While bank records are constitutionally private, once properly disclosed in an investigation, privacy is gone
Bank records of a nonprofit allegedly funneling money to candidates for office were subpoenaed by the state, but no prosecution was brought. Then a public records request was filed for the bank records. There was no overriding privacy interest in … Continue reading
MO: State investigative subpoena for bank and insurance records didn’t violate Fourth Amendment or statute
Defendant was convicted of murdering her husband. The state collected bank and insurance records by investigative subpoena, and her Fourth Amendment rights were not violated by lack of notice to her, seizure of the records, or failure to have an … Continue reading