CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

New Article Spotlight: Orin Kerr

CrimProf Orin Kerr has posted Four Models of Fourth Amendment Protection on SSRN.  Here's the abstract:

The Fourth Amendment protects reasonable expectations of privacy, but the Supreme Court has repeatedly refused to provide a consistent explanation for what makes an expectation of privacy reasonable. The Court's refusal has disappointed scholars and frustrated students for four decades. This article explains why the Supreme Court cannot provide an answer. It shows that there are four different tests for what makes an expectation of privacy reasonable, not one, and it argues that the Supreme Court has declined to give a single answer because the reasonable expectation of privacy framework is a bottom-up rather than top-down regulatory system. The exclusionary rule requires hundreds and even thousands of narrow rules explaining when an expectation of privacy is reasonable, and the Supreme Court hears too few cases to generate them. The Supreme Court must delegate the process of rule-creation to decentralized lower courts, and the lower courts must announce rules case-by-case. No one top-down approach can regulate this decentralized, bottom-up system, which means that the Supreme Court cannot provide a single answer to what makes an expectation of privacy reasonable. On the other hand, the existing four models reflect the needs of the bottom-up system far better than any single test. The four models provide the tools lower courts need to create localized Fourth Amendment rules that accurately identify reasonable police practices.

Obtain paper here

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» Kerr on the Fourth Amendment and Defining the "Reasonable Expectation of Privacy" from Making the Sausage
As a practitioner, I rarely find it worth my while to read a law review article (sorry, scholars!). Professor Orin Kerr (of the Volokh Conspiracy) just posted a new article to SSRN that is an exception. Four Models of Fourth [Read More]

Tracked on Mar 27, 2007 3:48:38 PM


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