CrimProf Blog

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

Monday, September 14, 2015

Jenks on Law Enforcement Drone Use

Jenks christopherChris Jenks (Southern Methodist University - Dedman School of Law) has posted State Labs of Federalism and Law Enforcement 'Drone' Use (Washington and Lee Law Review, Vol. 72, 2015) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

This article reviews and assesses current state legislation regulating law enforcement use of unmanned aerial systems (UAS). The legislation runs the gamut of permissive to restrictive and even utilizes different terms for the same object of regulation, UAS. These laws are the confused and at times even contradictory extension of societal views about UAS. The article reviews the U.S. Supreme Court’s manned aircraft trilogy of cases, California v. Ciraolo, Florida v. Riley, and Dow Chemical v. U.S. and two significant technology based decisions, Kyllo v. U.S. and U.S. v. Jones, and applies them to current state efforts to regulate law enforcement UAS use. The current state legislation regulating law enforcement UAS use is but the first round of experiments. But it is important to take stock of what state legislation would currently allow law enforcement to do with UAS. This article examines these state labs of federalism to identify at what point, and which state UAS experiments, the Supreme Court may rule constitute a search in violation of the Fourth Amendment.

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