Eight Nails into Katz's Coffin

23 Pages Posted: 8 Oct 2014 Last revised: 19 Jul 2015

See all articles by Amitai Etzioni

Amitai Etzioni

The George Washington University

Date Written: October 6, 2014


From a social science viewpoint, that the United States courts keep drawing on Katz v. United States in their rulings about whether or not privacy has been violated is difficult to comprehend. This legal case is clearly based on untenable sociological and psychological assumptions. Moreover, many fine legal scholars have laid out additional strong reasons that establish beyond a reasonable doubt that it is unreasonable to draw on “the reasonable expectations of privacy” as a legal concept. Continuing to draw on this concept, especially in the cyber age, undermines the legitimacy of the courts and hence of the law. This article reviews these arguments in order to further nail down the lid on Katz’s coffin so that this case — and the privacy doctrine that draws on it — will be allowed to rest in peace.

Suggested Citation

Etzioni, Amitai, Eight Nails into Katz's Coffin (October 6, 2014). Case Western Reserve Law Review, Vol. 65, No. 2, Winter 2014. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2506312

Amitai Etzioni (Contact Author)

The George Washington University ( email )

2100 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Suite 4058
Washington, DC 20037
United States

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