A New Report of Entick v. Carrington (1765)
64 Pages Posted: 6 Feb 2020
Date Written: January 31, 2020
The Supreme Court has described Entick v. Carrington (1765) as “the true and ultimate expression of constitutional law” for the Founding generation, and for more than 130 years, the Court has read Entick carefully to learn the original meaning of the Fourth Amendment. But the Court has been reading a flawed version of the case. This Article publishes, for the first time, a previously unknown manuscript report of Entick v. Carrington. We explain why this version is more reliable than other reports of the case, as well as how this new discovery might challenge prevailing assumptions about the Fourth Amendment and Entick’s place in British and American constitutional history more broadly. Although we leave a full reevaluation of Entick for future scholarship, we show that any future judicial or academic discussion of the case must take this new report into account.
Keywords: legal history, Fourth Amendment, constitutional history, constitutional law, rule of law, law reporting
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