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Rehnquist and Panvasive Searches

23 Pages Posted: 9 Oct 2012  

Christopher Slobogin

Vanderbilt University - Law School

Date Written: October 8, 2012


In the history of the Supreme Court, William Rehnquist may have been the least friendly justice toward the view that the Fourth Amendment should be read expansively. Even he, however, might have interpreted the amendment to place more restrictions on modern law enforcement techniques than current caselaw does. Relying on a 1974 article authored by Rehnquist, this essay, written for a symposium on Rehnquist and the Fourth Amendment, describes his views on the types of requirements the Fourth Amendment imposes on the police, how decriminalization can protect privacy, and most importantly, why Rehnquist might have been willing to regulate surveillance that is “panvasive” — pervasive and widespread — even if it focuses on public activities or information surrendered to third parties.

Keywords: Rehnquist, Fourth Amendment, surveillance, Jones

Suggested Citation

Slobogin, Christopher, Rehnquist and Panvasive Searches (October 8, 2012). Mississippi Law Journal, 2012; Vanderbilt Public Law Research Paper No. 12-36; Vanderbilt Law and Economics Research Paper No. 12-29. Available at SSRN:

Christopher Slobogin (Contact Author)

Vanderbilt University - Law School ( email )

131 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203-1181
United States

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