Archives for: November 2012, 24

11/24/12

Permalink 07:34:42 am, by fourth, 348 words, 464 views   English (US)
Categories: General

FEE: The Fourth Amendment and Faulty Originalism

Foundation Economic Education: The Fourth Amendment and Faulty Originalism by Joseph R. Stromberg:

“All arrests are at the peril of the party making them.”
—Alexander H. Stephens, August 27, 1863


These days the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution means next to nothing. Consider, for example, the choice offered a few years ago: surveillance under routine, easy “warrants” from the drive-through FISA Court or warrantless surveillance at the whim of George W. Bush and his allegedly boundless reserve of unitary-executive authority. A January 2006 Justice Department memo (“Legal Authorities Supporting the Activities of the National Security Agency ...”) explained the executive’s claims in mind-numbing and unconvincing detail. But the memo at least suggested how far below any practical service to Americans’ liberty the Fourth Amendment has fallen, and did so by heaping up available (and rather bad) search-and-seizure precedents, many of which arose from the terminally futile war on drugs (pages 37–38). The result is something like “your Constitution on drugs”—with the searchers and seizers on steroids.

Turning to the Fourth Amendment itself, we read: ...

This sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? And solid, like it might actually mean something. Alas, no such utopian state of affairs actually obtains. It is possible of course that my elementary school teachers just plain lied to us when they spun golden tales about American freedoms.

Yet surely there is more to it. But if so, what doom befell the Fourth Amendment? We might try looking at various eventful periods when governments—state and federal—felt unusually strong needs to arrest, search, and seize, such as the Civil War, Reconstruction, World War I, Prohibition (see Lacey, in works consulted below), World War II, the Cold War, and (naturally) the war on drugs. It seems, however, that long-running negligence, evasion, and misinterpretation have done more harm to the Fourth Amendment than have various short-run authoritarian panics. Central to this slow but continuous process was the rise of modern policing in the nineteenth century, creating a new institution not foreseen in American constitutions (state or federal) and therefore largely incompatible with them and unaddressed by them (see Roots).

Permalink 12:32:38 am, by fourth, 132 words, 484 views   English (US)
Categories: General

Cal.2: Objection to hearsay at suppression hearing has to be made to preserve for appeal

Defendant failed to preserve in the trial court the argument that hearsay was improperly admitted and credited by the trial court, so it is forfeited for appeal. People v. Hawkins, 211 Cal. App. 4th 194, 149 Cal. Rptr. 3d 469 (2d Dist. 2012).

Officers received reports that gunshots came from defendant’s vehicle. When they stopped it, a bag of marijuana was in plain view. There was probable cause for the search. United States v. Brown, 498 Fed. Appx. 940 (11th Cir. 2012).*

Officers drove by defendant’s double parked car and smelled marijuana. They got out and asked him why they could smell it, and he said it was because he “just smoked.” That was probable cause, and a gun found in the car was admissible. United States v. Evans, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165895 (S.D. N.Y. November 19, 2012).*

Permalink 12:25:52 am, by fourth, 394 words, 1550 views   English (US)
Categories: General

D.N.M.I.: No standing in a school computer appropriated to view child porn

An FBI agent stationed in Saipan installed spyware on a computer given his child by his school so he could monitor the computer. When he learned he was being stationed to the mainland and the computer was going back to the school, he had the computer wiped clean by a service tech, but the spyware survived. A while after the computer was returned to the school, he again received emails about the use of the computer visiting child pornography websites, and he turned this information over to the FBI in Saipan. The court discusses at length whether a search occurred and whether it was a government search, but it ultimately decides the defendant had no reasonable expectation of privacy in a school computer that was for the use of students. [Really interesting analysis.] United States v. Weindl, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166733 (D. N.M.I. November 20, 2012) (not yet on court's website):

Even if Weindl had a subjective (albeit unrealistic) expectation of privacy in the PSS laptop, it was not an expectation that society is prepared to endorse. An expectation of privacy does not become objectively reasonable just because a person hides someone else's property away in his office desk and does not let anyone else use it. A person cannot have a reasonable expectation of privacy in a computer he stole or obtained by fraud. See United States v. Wong, 334 F.3d 831, 839 (9th Cir. 2003) (stolen laptop); United States v. Caymen, 404 F.3d 1196, 1201 (9th Cir. 2005) (fraudulently obtained laptop). In Caymen, police got a warrant to seize from the defendant a laptop suspected to have been obtained through credit card fraud. Caymen, 404 F.3d at 1197. After the seizure, they discovered that the defendant had a prior conviction for possession of child pornography. Id. at 1198. They then conducted a warrantless search of the laptop's hard drive, ostensibly looking for evidence of credit card fraud, and instead found sexually explicit images of children. Id. The defendant moved to suppress the images, and the motion was denied on grounds that the defendant lacked Fourth Amendment standing. Id. On appeal, the Ninth Circuit affirmed. It found that "one who takes property by theft or fraud cannot reasonably expect to retain possession and exclude others from it once he is caught. Whatever expectation of privacy he might assert is not a legitimate expectation that society is prepared to honor." Id. at 1201.

Permalink 12:11:24 am, by fourth, 338 words, 940 views   English (US)
Categories: General

IL: Witness with knowledge of PC must testify to basis for arrest at suppression hearing

Defendant was stopped for alleged violation of a protective order. He objected that there was no showing of probable cause by the state for the underlying order, and he’s right. The state’s failure to prove probable cause for the protective order was fatal to the arrest. No witness with knowledge of it testified at the suppression hearing. People v. Hyland, 2012 IL App (1st) 110966, 981 N.E.2d 414 (2012):

=> Read more!

Permalink 12:03:59 am, by fourth, 140 words, 403 views   English (US)
Categories: General

WV: Sound of running inside from a knock and announce supported immediate entry

Officers knocked and announced and heard running inside. They knew that he was armed, and they testified they feared for their safety because they didn’t know whether he was coming to the door to shoot anybody coming in or was securing a safe location to ambush somebody coming in. State v. Farley, 230 W. Va. 193, 737 S.E.2d 90 (2012).

Defendant’s giving his computer to the police to seize it was implied consent to search it. State v. Jonathan B., 230 W. Va. 229, 737 S.E.2d 257 (2012).*

Defendant failed to show plain error in the trial court’s finding that the probable cause was based on a false statement. [Also, arresting the defense suppression hearing witness for aggravated perjury did not deprive him of a defense or due process and thus was not prosecutorial misconduct.] State v. Clark, 2012 Tenn. Crim. App. LEXIS 942 (November 19, 2012).

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by John Wesley Hall
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Little Rock, Arkansas
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  Fernandez v. California, 134 S.Ct. 1126, 188 L. Ed. 2d 25 (Feb. 25) (ScotusBlog)

2012-13 Term:
  Maryland v. King, 133 S.Ct. 1958, 186 L.Ed.2d 1 (2013) (ScotusBlog)
  Missouri v. McNeeley, 133 S.Ct. 1552, 185 L.Ed.2d 696 (2013) (ScotusBlog)
  Bailey v. United States, 133 S.Ct. 1031, 185 L.Ed.2d 19 (2013) (ScotusBlog)
  Florida v. Harris, 133 S.Ct. 1050, 185 L.Ed.2d 61 (2013) (ScotusBlog)
  Florida v. Jardines, 133 S.Ct. 1409, 185 L.Ed.2d 495 (2013) (ScotusBlog)
  Clapper v. Amnesty International USA, 133 S.Ct. 1138, 185 L.Ed.2d 264 (2013) (ScotusBlog)

2011-12 Term:
  Ryburn v. Huff, 132 S.Ct. 987, 181 L.Ed.2d 966 (2012) (other blog)
  Florence v. Board of Chosen Freeholders, 132 S.Ct. 1510, 182 L.Ed.2d 566 (2012) (ScotusBlog)
  United States v. Jones, 132 S.Ct. 945, 181 L.Ed.2d 911 (2012) (ScotusBlog)
  Messerschmidt v. Millender, 132 S.Ct. 1235, 182 L.Ed.2d 47 (2012) (ScotusBlog)

2010-11 Term:
  Kentucky v. King, 131 S.Ct. 1849, 179 L.Ed.2d 865 (2011) (ScotusBlog)
  Camreta v. Greene, 131 S.Ct. 2020, 179 L.Ed.2d 1118 (2011) (ScotusBlog)
  Ashcroft v. al-Kidd, 131 S.Ct. 2074, 179 L.Ed.2d 1149 (2011) (ScotusBlog)
  Davis v. United States, 131 S.Ct. 2419, 180 L.Ed.2d 285 (2011) (ScotusBlog)

2009-10 Term:

  Michigan v. Fisher, 558 U.S. 45, 130 S.Ct. 546, 175 L.Ed.2d 410 (2009) (per curiam) (ScotusBlog)
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  Herring v. United States, 555 U.S. 135, 129 S.Ct. 695, 172 L.Ed.2d 496 (2009) (ScotusBlog)
  Pearson v. Callahan, 555 U.S. 223, 129 S.Ct. 808, 172 L.Ed.2d 565 (2009) (ScotusBlog)
  Arizona v. Johnson, 555 U.S. 323, 129 S.Ct. 781, 172 L.Ed.2d 694 (2009) (ScotusBlog)
  Arizona v. Gant, 556 U.S. 332, 129 S.Ct. 1710, 173 L.Ed.2d 485 (2009) (ScotusBlog)
  Safford Unified School District #1 v. Redding, 557 U.S. 364, 129 S.Ct. 2633, 174 L.Ed.2d 354 (2009) (ScotusBlog)


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"If it was easy, everybody would be doing it. It isn't, and they don't."
—Me

"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!”
Pepé Le Pew

"There is never enough time, unless you are serving it."
Malcolm Forbes

"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."
Johnson v. United States, 333 U.S. 10, 13-14 (1948)


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