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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."
“Life is not a matter of holding good cards, but of playing a poor hand well.”
–Josh Billings (pseudonym of Henry Wheeler Shaw), Josh Billings on Ice, and Other Things (1868) (erroneously attributed to Robert Louis Stevenson, among others)
“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
"It is a pleasant world we live in, sir, a very pleasant world. There are bad people in it, Mr. Richard, but if there were no bad people, there would be no good lawyers."
—Charles Dickens, “The Old Curiosity Shop ... With a Frontispiece. From a Painting by Geo. Cattermole, Etc.” 255 (1848)
"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: SCOTUS
SCOTUS has a third-party records tax summons case, but not necessarily a 4A case, yet; it might become one
Added to Most Recent SCOTUS cases is Polselli v. Internal Revenue Service, 21-1599, cert. gr. Dec. 9, 2022, argument Mar. 29, 2023 (ScotusBlog). It is a third-party records summons case where the parties’ cert papers don’t even mention the Fourth … Continue reading
NYLJ: Commentary: The Constitution and the ‘Right to Privacy‘ (“In overruling ‘Roe’ and ‘Casey’, the new majority in the Supreme Court holds that there is no Constitutional ‘right to privacy.’”)
SCOTUSBlog: Court constricts, even if it does not quite eliminate, damages actions under Bivens by Howard M. Wasserman:
CNN: Supreme Court leak investigation heats up as clerks are asked for phone records in unprecedented move
CNN: Exclusive: Supreme Court leak investigation heats up as clerks are asked for phone records in unprecedented move by Joan Biskupic (“Supreme Court officials are escalating their search for the source of the leaked draft opinion that would overturn Roe … Continue reading
Thompson v. Clark, 2022 U.S. LEXIS 1885 (Apr. 4, 2022) (ScotusBlog: “Larry Thompson’s showing that his criminal prosecution ended without a conviction satisfies the requirement to demonstrate a favorable termination of a criminal prosecution in a Fourth Amendment claim under … Continue reading
Reason: One Cheer for Stephen Breyer by Damon Root:
Egbert v. Boule, 21-147 (granted Nov. 5, 2021): Issues: (1) Whether a cause of action exists under Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Federal Bureau of Narcotics for First Amendment retaliation claims; and (2) whether a cause of action … Continue reading
ABAJ: Chemerinsky: The Supreme Court has done a poor job protecting against police abuse of power and racism
ABAJ: Chemerinsky: The Supreme Court has done a poor job protecting against police abuse of power and racism by Erwin Chemerinsky:
Orin Kerr, Katz as Originalism, Duke L.J. forthcoming (2021). Abstract:
Slate: The One Area Where Supreme Court Jurisprudence Is Actually Improving Thanks to Originalism by David Gans (“For decades, the Supreme Court has repeatedly deferred to the police when judging the validity of searches and seizures by the government. For that … Continue reading
ABAJ: Chemerinsky: Supreme Court looks to common law for guidance in Fourth Amendment cases (“The Supreme Court decided three cases concerning the Fourth Amendment during the October 2020 term. They shared several characteristics.”)
SCOTUS: Lange v. California: “Under the Fourth Amendment, pursuit of a fleeing misdemeanor suspect does not always—that is, categorically—justify a warrantless entry into a home.”
Lange v. California, 141 S.Ct. 2011 (June 23, 2021). Syllabus:
Mapp v. Ohio was decided 60 years ago today. See these prior posts; 2017 and 2014
ScotusBlog: “Possible cause”: Court seems poised to allow warrantless community caretaking entries into the home
ScotusBlog: “Possible cause”: Court seems poised to allow warrantless community caretaking entries into the home by Lenese Herbert:
Reason: ‘Everything Has Been Criminalized,’ Says Neil Gorsuch as He Pushes for Stronger Fourth Amendment Protections
Reason: ‘Everything Has Been Criminalized,’ Says Neil Gorsuch as He Pushes for Stronger Fourth Amendment Protections by Damon Root (“The justice weighs in during oral arguments in Lange v. California.”)
Reason: A Prison Guard Who Pepper-Sprayed an Inmate Without Provocation Got Qualified Immunity. SCOTUS Disagreed.
Reason: A Prison Guard Who Pepper-Sprayed an Inmate Without Provocation Got Qualified Immunity. SCOTUS Disagreed. By Billy Binion (“An encouraging sign from the Supreme Court.”)
ScotusBlog: Justices to consider whether “hot pursuit” justifies entering the home without a warrant (“At issue in Lange v. California is whether, when police are pursuing someone for a misdemeanor, that is always an ‘exigent circumstance’ that will allow the … Continue reading
Bovat v. Vermont, 2020 U.S. LEXIS 5057 (Oct. 19, 2020) (Gorsuch dissenting from denial of certiorari with Sotomayor and Kagan):
Torres v. Madrid, 19-292: Issue: Whether an unsuccessful attempt to detain a suspect by use of physical force is a “seizure” within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment, as the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 8th, 9th and 11th … Continue reading
On remand from Byrd v. United States, 138 S.Ct. 1518 (2018), holding that defendant had standing in his rental car, defendant loses on the merits because there was probable cause for the search of his car because of the admission … Continue reading