Policing Police Technology: The False Hope of Fourth Amendment Adjudicatory Oversight
7 Pages Posted: 11 Jul 2011
Date Written: July 7, 2011
In the context of a SEALS Discussion Group concerning technology and the Fourth Amendment, this short essay explores why even the most elegantly drawn decision rules for applying the Fourth Amendment in today’s technological age will be rendered moot by a pervasively diminished remedial regime reflected in the Court’s recent Fourth Amendment jurisprudence – in particular the exclusionary rule decisions in Herring v. United States, Davis v. United States, and a series of constitutional tort decisions deepening the protection of qualified immunity and narrowing the scope of municipal liability. It concludes that efforts at refashioning the substance of Fourth Amendment doctrine will ultimately bear little fruit in the functional project of constitutional adjudication – though they may be essential to important task of building a popular and political culture of valuing the Fourth Amendment.
Keywords: Criminal Procedure, 4th Amendment, Exclusionary Rule, Techology, Katz, Herring, Davis, Qualified Immunity, Constitutional Tort
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