CrimProf Blog

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

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

"Reconciling Katz and the Fourth Amendment Text"

Orin Kerr has this post at The Volokh Conspiracy. In part:

Monday was the 50th Anniversary of Katz v. United States, the Supreme Court's big decision on the Fourth Amendment's "search" test. I often hear that Katz created a vague and non-textual notion of "privacy" that is unmoored from the text. But it seems to me that it's easy to reconcile Katz with the text of the Fourth Amendment. To be sure, Katz was decided in an era when text and history wasn't particularly important. If you follow what opinions say on their face, rather what they actually do, Katz seems weirdly inattentive to the text. But if you focus on what the Katz framework actually does, it seems to me, the decision is readily reconcilable with the text.

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