ABA Journal

Fourth Amendment

84 ABA Journal Fourth Amendment articles.

How SCOTUS enabled police abuses of civil rights⁠—and what we can do about it

Much has been said about police officers and departments who violate civil rights or enforce the law in discriminatory ways. But not as much attention has been paid to the ways in which the U.S. Supreme Court has enabled police excesses and insulated police from civil or criminal responsibility, says Erwin Chemerinsky, the dean of the University of California at Berkeley School of Law and author of the new book Presumed Guilty: How the Supreme Court Empowered the Police and Subverted Civil Rights.

Cop who arrested man for vulgar bumper sticker is entitled to qualified immunity, federal judge rules

A federal judge in Jacksonville, Florida, has ruled that a police officer is entitled to qualified immunity for arresting a man for his “I Eat A- -” bumper sticker because the phrase is arguably obscene.

Pot smell didn’t provide probable cause for juvenile’s arrest, top state court says

The Delaware Supreme Court has ruled that marijuana and cocaine seized after police arrested a juvenile should be suppressed because the pot smell emanating from the vehicle in which she was a passenger didn’t provide probable cause for her arrest.

Should federal officers get immunity for lies and beatings? SCOTUS is asked to decide

Three cert petitions ask the U.S. Supreme Court to rule that federal law enforcement officers and those who serve with them on joint task forces were not entitled to absolute immunity for violating constitutional rights of three people.

Cops’ use of pole camera to surveil partly fenced property was unconstitutional, state supreme court rules

Police officers in Colorado Springs, Colorado, violated the Fourth Amendment rights of a drug suspect when they erected a pole camera to record video of his partly fenced property for three months without obtaining a warrant, the Colorado Supreme Court has ruled.

Chemerinsky: The Supreme Court has done a poor job protecting against police abuse of power and racism

Following the death of George Floyd, the nation focused attention on the enormous problems of police violence and racism in law enforcement, but there is a failure to put blame where much belongs: on the United States Supreme Court.

Is chalking tires a Fourth Amendment violation? Exception doesn’t protect city, 6th Circuit says

The city of Saginaw, Michigan, can’t cite an administrative search exception to the Fourth Amendment's warrant requirement to justify chalking tires, a federal appeals court has ruled.

En banc 2nd Circuit upholds pat-down search; five judges call for reevaluation of traffic-stop precedent

An en banc federal appeals court has upheld the pat-down search of a man during a traffic stop in a case that drew amicus briefs from several organizations that argued…

Lawyer’s suit claims raid was retaliation for successful defense; city sees allegations as baseless

The city of Roanoke, Virginia, is seeking to dismiss a lawsuit filed by a lawyer who claims that police raided her home in retaliation for successfully defending her stepson on murder charges.

Chemerinsky: Supreme Court looks to common law for guidance in Fourth Amendment cases

The Supreme Court decided three cases concerning the Fourth Amendment during the October 2020 term. They shared several characteristics.

Spy plane surveillance violates Fourth Amendment, en banc appeals court rules

An en banc federal appeals court ruled 8-7 on Thursday that a warrantless aerial surveillance program run by the Baltimore Police Department violated the Fourth Amendment.

3 newest justices join Supreme Court liberals in decision for fleeing misdemeanor suspect

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that police officers who are pursuing a misdemeanor suspect aren’t necessarily entitled to enter a home without a warrant.

Afternoon Briefs: Controversial remarks by ‘QAnon shaman’ lawyer; progressive district attorney wins primary

Lawyer for ‘QAnon shaman’ says rioters are ‘short-bus people’

Albert Watkins, the lawyer for the accused U.S. Capitol Hill rioter known as the “QAnon Shaman,” told Talking Points Memo…

SCOTUS rules against warrantless seizure of guns while man is in hospital for suicide evaluation

In a unanimous opinion Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against police who seized a man’s guns without a warrant while he was in the hospital for a suicide evaluation.

Citing First Amendment, 4th Circuit reverses conviction for retired Air Force officer’s use of N-word

A federal appeals court has reversed the conviction of a white retired Air Force lieutenant colonel who used the N-word while complaining about a Black store employee who asked whether he needed any help.

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