The Irrelevancy of the Fourth Amendment in the Roberts Court
Thomas K. Clancy
University of Mississippi School of Law
February 19, 2010
Chicago Kent Law Journal, Vol. 85, p. 191, 2010
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.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 18
Date posted: February 19, 2010 ; Last revised: March 9, 2010