WaPo: Obama announces proposals to reform NSA surveillance by Scott Wilson and Zachary A. Goldfarb:
MotherJones: Defense Attorneys Plan to Fight NSA Evidence in Drug Cases by Kevin Drum
NYDN: Texas state troopers caught on camera probing women's privates aren't isolated incidents by Deborah Hastings:
Plaintiff’s 1983 claim of the police using her as sexual bait to arrest a police officer and failure to protect fails on qualified immunity. Whitley v. Hanna, 726 F.3d 631 (5th Cir. 2013)*:
Defendant who was loaned a car and had the keys in his pocket had standing to challenge its search. Officers were reasonable in perceiving him as a possible threat of having a weapon on him when they frisked him, despite protestations of others that he was not a threat, even if they were reasonably mistaken in that assessment. United States v. Ray, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111852 (D. Neb. July 15, 2013).*
Defendant's stop was reasonable for touching the fog line and changing lanes without signaling, and claims of pretext fail. During the stop, the small talk led to reasonable suspicion for further detention and finally consent was granted. United States v. Santillian, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111376 (S.D. N.Y. August 6, 2013).*
Defendant’s wife had apparent authority to consent to a search of a duffle bag in the back of their car. Nothing indicated that it was his or hers. United States v. Scott, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111790 (E.D. Tenn. August 8, 2013).*
DHS officers trolling the internet for peer-to-peer file sharing discovered that a computer with a particular IP address had 418 likely child pornography files on it, and they narrowed it down and got a search warrant. The particularity clause of the warrant was limited strictly to looking for child pornography and it was not inappropriate to seize hardware, too. “The warrant was not unconstitutionally overbroad because non-contraband items contained within the computer (such as bank statements, professional records, personal photographs and music) were also subject to seizure. Again, federal courts have consistently recognized that computer searches pose unique challenges that may result in ‘some innocuous documents [being] examined, at least cursorily in order to determine whether they are, in fact, among those papers authorized to be seized.’ Andresen v. Maryland, 427 U.S. 463, 482 n.11, 96 S. Ct. 2737, 49 L. Ed. 2d 627 (1976).” United States v. Conrad, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111176 (M.D. Fla. May 14, 2013).
“With respect to his motion concerning the search warrant, defendant Young failed to support his motion with a personal affidavit setting forth facts and/or circumstances that would warrant the granting of the motion. Since the defendant has failed to ‘create a dispute over any material fact,’ there is no requirement that the Court hold a hearing on his motion to suppress. Furthermore, the government's uncontradicted response, refutes the defendant's claim for suppression of evidence. Therefore, it is recommended that defendant's motion to suppress be denied.” United States v. Young, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 110661 (W.D. N.Y. January 23, 2013),* adopted 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 110357 (W.D.N.Y., Aug. 5, 2013).*
PO had reasonable suspicion that defendant was using a computer in violation of his terms of release. He was the only person in the place, and the computer was on and a lit cigarette was in an ashtray next to it. The seizure of the computer was reasonable under the terms of release. United States v. Majeroni, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111338 (D. Me. May 31, 2013).*
Defendant had no valid DL, so the officer gave him the option of calling somebody to get the car or have it towed. He chose to call somebody, and that was the reason the stop was extended, and it was completely legitimate. United States v. Lyvers, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111061 (E.D. Ky. August 7, 2013).*
The totality of information provided reasonable suspicion of alien smuggling. United States v. Gonzalez-Saucedo, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111302 (D. Ariz. July 4, 2013).*
“The address and GPS coordinates alone would prevent another premise from being mistakenly searched. Moreover, the knowledge of the executing officer can be considered in determining the sufficiency of the description. See United States v. Sturmoski, 971 F.2d 452, 458 (10th Cir. 1992); see also United States v. Musson, 650 F.Supp. 525, 538 (D. Colo. 1986). As the affiant was also the executing officer, his knowledge of the property would have enabled the officers to locate the premises to be searched. Under these circumstances, the Court finds no descriptive defect in the search warrant.” The warrant was a state warrant, so it’s not subject to Rule 41. United States v. Fowler, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 110922 (M.D. Ga. August 7, 2013). [Seriously: GPS coordinates aren't good enough to find a particular place?]
Defendant was stopped for unsafe driving, and reasonable suspicion developed primarily because they were driving from Boston to Cincinnati and back without staying over and air freshener in the back of the van. That and the lengthy computer check justified a 24 minute detention for the drug dog to complete his trip around the vehicle. State v. Thomas, 2013 Ohio 3411, 2013 Ohio App. LEXIS 3501 (August 2, 2013).*
A closed bin with an ill fitting lid was found in a woman’s closet in the place defendant was staying it. She had apparent authority to consent to its search. United States v. Mujahid, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 110237 (N.D. Ill. August 6, 2013).*
Defendants were ordered to provide DNA by buccal swabs and sought interlocutory review. Defense counsel said that they would resist by force. The court said that it would deal with that issue if it arises, but an erroneous taking of DNA is remediable by appeal. Citing Maryland v. King, it’s not that great an intrusion. Commonwealth v. Bertini, 466 Mass. 131, 993 N.E.2d 654 (2013):
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Plumhoff v. Rickard, granted Nov. 15, argued Mar. 4 (ScotusBlog)
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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)
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Clapper v. Amnesty International USA, 133 S.Ct. 1138, 185 L.Ed.2d 264 (2013) (ScotusBlog)
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)
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)
Michigan v. Fisher, 558 U.S. 45, 130 S.Ct. 546, 175 L.Ed.2d 410 (2009) (per curiam) (ScotusBlog)
City of Ontario v. Quon, 560 U.S. 746, 130 S.Ct. 2619, 177 L.Ed.2d 216 (2010) (ScotusBlog)
Herring v. United States, 555 U.S. 135, 129 S.Ct. 695, 172 L.Ed.2d 496 (2009) (ScotusBlog)
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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)