Good Faith, New Law, and the Scope of the Exclusionary Rule
42 Pages Posted: 11 Sep 2010 Last revised: 17 Mar 2018
Date Written: April 14, 2011
Lower courts recently have divided on whether the good-faith exception to the Fourth Amendment exclusionary rule applies to reliance on overturned caselaw. This Article argues that the Supreme Court should reject the good-faith exception in this setting.
A suppression remedy for new law creates necessary incentives for criminal defendants to challenge existing precedents. The exclusionary rule deters constitutional violations by creating an environment for appellate decision-making in which constitutional errors can be corrected. The costs of the exclusionary rule for overturned law are comparatively minor, as other doctrines already limit the scope of the exclusionary rule. The benefits of the exclusionary rule for reliance on overturned caselaw exceed its costs, and the rule therefore should be retained.
Keywords: Fourth Amendment, good faith, good faith exception, Herring v. United States
JEL Classification: K14, K41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation