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

Suggested Citation

Laurin, Jennifer E., Policing Police Technology: The False Hope of Fourth Amendment Adjudicatory Oversight (July 7, 2011). U of Texas Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 199. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1881120 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1881120

Jennifer E. Laurin (Contact Author)

University of Texas School of Law ( email )

727 East Dean Keeton Street
Austin, TX 78705
United States

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