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The Irrelevancy of the Fourth Amendment in the Roberts Court

Chicago Kent Law Journal, Vol. 85, p. 191, 2010

18 Pages Posted: 19 Feb 2010 Last revised: 9 Mar 2010

Thomas K. Clancy

University of Mississippi School of Law

Date Written: February 19, 2010

Abstract

Since John Roberts Jr. became Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, there has been a measurable decline in the number of cases addressing Fourth Amendment questions. This article examines the reasons for that decline and predicts the substantial elimination of Fourth Amendment litigation in the Roberts Court. The prediction is based on several premises, including the lack of interest of the justices on the Court concerning search and seizures principles and two significant recent cases, Pearson v. Callahan and United States v. Herring, which presage a significant decline in the number of lower court cases addressing the merits of the Fourth Amendment and, consequently, fewer cases worthy of Supreme Court review. If these premises hold true, the Fourth Amendment, while remaining the most commonly implicated aspect of the Constitution, may lose its status as the most frequently litigated part. What will remain is a residual, complex jurisprudence with little relevance.

Suggested Citation

Clancy, Thomas K., The Irrelevancy of the Fourth Amendment in the Roberts Court (February 19, 2010). Chicago Kent Law Journal, Vol. 85, p. 191, 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1555780

Thomas K. Clancy (Contact Author)

University of Mississippi School of Law ( email )

Lamar Law Center
P.O. Box 1848
University, MS 38677
United States
662-832-5244 (Phone)

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