WaPo: NSA fact sheet on surveillance program pulled from Web after senators’ criticism by Greg Miller and Ellen Nakashima:
National Security Agency Director Gen. Keith B. Alexander acknowledged Tuesday that a fact sheet on the agency’s Web site inaccurately described the extent to which the communications of U.S. citizens are protected from the spy agency’s collection of e-mail and other material from technology companies.
Officers were investigating defendant for a failure to register as a sex offender, and they got a search warrant for his computer hard drive. The warrant violated the Fourth Amendment, first, because there was no probable cause to believe there was anything on it, and, second, because it sought “evidence of violations of ‘NYS Penal Law and or Federal Statutes.’” Remanded for a severability determination. United States v. Galpin, 720 F.3d 436 (2d Cir. 2013):
Iowa law requires that only “state agents” can apply for and install GPS devices, and this wasn’t followed. This case, however, is in federal court, and the Fourth Amendment wasn’t violated. United States v. Hansen, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 87951 (N.D. Iowa June 19, 2013).
Defendant was subjected to a search incident in 2007 that was valid under Belton, but he preserved the argument it wasn’t. Gant was decided in 2009, and the court of appeals decided his case in July 2010. Three years later, on review, the Kansas Supreme Court holds that the Davis good faith exception saves the search for the state. (The case dragged on so long, the defendant died before it was decided.) State v. Karson, 297 Kan. 634, 304 P.3d 317 (2013).*
Officers obtained a search warrant for the victim’s DNA in defendant’s apartment, even though there was no showing that the victim had ever been there. A search warrant for DNA in premises is overbroad. In addition, officers read a journal under the guise of looking for the victim's DNA in it. State v. Armstrong, 2013 Ohio 2618, 993 N.E.2d 836 (11th Dist. 2013):
The officer made reasonable inquiry into the occupancy of the building that was the target of the search and concluded it was one unit with two doors. A reasonable inquiry doesn’t always require contacting the utility providers too, when there is one electric meter. Here, there was a brick wall visible only from the inside that divided the premises into two units. “Facts ‘that emerge after the warrant is issued have no bearing on whether or not a warrant was validly issued.’ Garrison, 480 U.S. at 85.” United States v. Figueroa, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 88034 (D. Del. June 24, 2013).
Crouching between cars on the parking lot of grocery store at night was suspicious enough for a stop and patdown, and a gun was found. United States v. Benavidez, 528 Fed. Appx. 829 (10th Cir. 2013).*
Officer’s calling a “multi-colored glass smoking device” as a “bong” in the affidavit for search warrant was not misleading for Franks purposes. State v. Holly, 2013 ND 94, 833 N.W.2d 15 (2013).*
Cato: NSA Spying, NSA Lying, and Where the Fourth Amendment Is Going by Jim Harper:
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"If it was easy, everybody would be doing it. It isn't, and they don't."
"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
—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
—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."
"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)