CrimProf Blog

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

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

"Multiple Location Search Warrants and Plural Nouns in the Constitution"

Eugene Kontorovich has this post at The Volokh Conspiracy

[A] warrant must describe the “place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” Why does the search warrant provision use the singular, while the arrest warrant provision use the plural? This could suggest a rule against multiple location search warrants, a rule that has never existed as far as I know.

What makes it even odder is that earlier state constitutions all referred to “places,” so this is not just a case of cut-and-past. And while the matter of a missing letter may seem to be the kind of thing that would escape the drafters’ notice, the Framers made similarly detailedone-letter edits to the text of the Fourth Amendment.

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