No More Chipping Away: The Roberts Court Uses an Axe to Take Out the Fourth Amendment Exclusionary Rule
Boston University - School of Law
Jennifer Marie Rader
affiliation not provided to SSRN
March 19, 2012
Mississippi Law Journal, Vol. 81, No. 5, p. 151, 2012
Boston Univ. School of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 12-13
This article considers the current status of the Fourth Amendment exclusionary rule under the Roberts Court, as well as what the future holds for the rule. Despite Justice Kennedy’s 2006 declaration that “the continued operation of the exclusionary rule, as settled and defined by our precedents, is not in doubt,” this Article demonstrates why this is not the case. Kennedy’s statement is noteworthy and has been accorded substantial weight primarily because it was made at a time when it was thought that four Justices (Chief Justice Roberts, and Justices Scalia, Thomas, and Alito) were prepared to announce the demise of the exclusionary rule. Part I of the article provides the background for the Court’s recent suppression rulings and Kennedy’s 2006 statement. Part II then considers the substance and worth of Kennedy’s statement as it pertains to Davis v. United States and Herring v. United States, the Court’s most recent rulings on the good-faith exception to the exclusionary rule. Part III considers the meaning of Kennedy’s statement in light of the attenuation rule announced in Hudson v. Michigan, which imposed a significant restriction on suppression as a remedy to deter Fourth Amendment violations.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 47
Keywords: Fourth Amendment, Exclusionary Rule, Roberts Court, Davis v. United States, Herring v. United States, Hudson v. Michigan
JEL Classification: K19, K39, K49
Date posted: March 19, 2012 ; Last revised: April 19, 2012
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