CrimProf Blog

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

Thursday, October 13, 2011

ABA project for criminal procedure students

The ABA Criminal Justice Section has created "The Citizens Amicus Project" that seeks to get criminal procedures students to contribute to public discussion of the Fourth Amendment. This year's project focuses on warrantless GPS tracking. Further information is available here and after the jump.

This year, the Citizen Amicus Project is looking at the United States v. Jones (warrantless GPS case), please think of directing your students to the website to submit their views on the case.


Citizen Amicus Project Summary:


  • ·         The Citizen Amicus Project seeks to encourage law students to contribute to a national dialogue on constitutional issues. 
  • ·         The Citizen Amicus Project exists as a web-based constitutional debate about ongoing Supreme Court cases.
  • The goal of the Citizen Amicus Project is to educate, engage, and expand the influence of law student ideas about constitutional issues. 
  • Similar to formal amicus briefs, the Citizen Amicus Project seeks input from interested parties to help resolve constitutional issues.  The goal is to provide a focused and discrete opportunity for law students to contribute to a national legal question that affects law students. 
  • The top three submissions will be recognized with an annual Citizen Amicus Project certificate award. 


An Overview of the Project:


  • Every year a single Supreme Court case will be chosen as the focus of the Project.  The legal briefs, arguments, and supplemental educational materials on this case will be available on the ABA Citizen Amicus Project website. 
  • Law students will be encouraged to access the website and submit their views on the constitutional question.  Law professors will be encouraged to discuss and frame the question as part of a criminal justice oriented curriculum. 
  • Law students will write 500-1000 word opinions about the constitutional question presented in a concise and accessible format. 
  • The result will be a collection of brief legal statements helpful to the Supreme Court and the general public.  The opinions obviously will be the personal opinions of the student contributors, and not the ABA.  The opinions will be accessible to the Supreme Court and all other citizens, but will not be formally filed as amicus. 
  • The Citizen Amicus Project submissions will exist as an alternative repository of constitutional analysis from a citizen-student perspective.

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