Fourth Amendment

The Fourth Amendment famously protects against “unreasonable searches and seizures.” As capabilities for government surveillance rapidly develope alongside technology, the amendment has consistently been at the center of discussions over privacy and the scope of state power. In particular, NSA bulk surveillance has recently triggered a debate on the constitutionality of warrantless bulk collection under the Fourth Amendment, and on what should be considered a “reasonable” search in an increasingly digital age.

Latest in Fourth Amendment

Fourth Amendment

Second Circuit Grants Rehearing in United States v. Ganias

Last summer, in United States v. Ganias, a Second Circuit panel held that the government violated the Fourth Amendment when, for two-and-a-half years, it retained digital copies of files that were outside the scope of an initial warrant and then used those files in a subsequent investigation.  Applying the exclusionary rule, the Second Circuit panel vacated the defendant’s conviction.  But just last week, however, the Second Circuit sua sponte granted an en banc rehearing on not only the application of the exclusionary rule but also on the Fourth Amendment question.  


Patel Decided

Boy, talk about making a mistake.  On Monday I confidently predicted the pending decision in City of Los Angeles v. Patel, saying, among other things that "Most observers (including me) think that the Court took the case to reverse" and "this might be an easy case -- and it probably will be."  Of course, today, the Court affirmed in a split 5-4 decision -- i.e. not very easy at all.

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