Search and Seizure Budgets

13 U.C. Irvine L. Rev. 389 (2023)

45 Pages Posted: 27 Aug 2021 Last revised: 5 Apr 2023

See all articles by Stephen E. Henderson

Stephen E. Henderson

University of Oklahoma - College of Law

Kiel Brennan-Marquez

University of Connecticut - School of Law

Date Written: 2023

Abstract

This Article proposes a new means of restraining police power: quantitative limits on the number of law enforcement intrusions—searches and seizures—that may occur over a given period of time. Like monetary constraints, search and seizure budgets would aim to curb abusive policing and improve democratic oversight. But unlike their monetary counterparts, budgets would be indexed directly to the specific police activities that most enable escalation and abuse. What is more, budgets are a tool that finds support, conceptually, in the American framing experience. The Fourth Amendment has long been understood to require procedural limits, such as probable cause, on specific police intrusions. But such requirements are only part of the story; limits on overall police capacity, we argue, are also hardwired into the Fourth Amendment via its founding era history. Search and seizure budgets would help reinvigorate that promise, offering an important tool in the ongoing effort to curb over-criminalization and the ever-expanding technologies of surveillance.

Keywords: policing, search, seizure, ceilings, general warrant, democracy, fourth amendment

JEL Classification: K14

Suggested Citation

Henderson, Stephen E. and Brennan-Marquez, Kiel, Search and Seizure Budgets (2023). 13 U.C. Irvine L. Rev. 389 (2023), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3910743 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3910743

Stephen E. Henderson (Contact Author)

University of Oklahoma - College of Law ( email )

300 Timberdell Road
Norman, OK 73019
United States
405.325.7127 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.ou.edu/directory/stephen-e-henderson

Kiel Brennan-Marquez

University of Connecticut - School of Law ( email )

65 Elizabeth Street
Hartford, CT 06105
United States

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