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Course Descriptions

As of 10/23/2017 5:24:41 AM

Sel Topics on 4th Amend Law

Selected Topics on Fourth Amendment Searches and Remedies This seminar will address some topical issues in Fourth Amendment search and seizure law. One set of questions concerns the scope of Fourth Amendment rights in an era of advancing technology. For example, how well do existing doctrinal rules defining searches, reasonable expectations of privacy, and consent work in a world in which everyone has a cellphone, or in which the police have increasingly sophisticated surveillance devices? Should any of these doctrines be changed and, if so, by whom and in what direction? A second set of questions concerns the ongoing evolution of judicially-crafted Fourth Amendment remedies for illegal searches. For example, does the modern-day exclusionary rule still make sense? Are recent modifications to the scope of the rule's good-faith exception welcome, or troubling? How about the current "fruit of the poisonous tree" doctrine? And depending on class interest and available time, we can address other Fourth Amendment issues as well. You will be required to write several short papers (no longer than a few pages) concerning the weekly readings, which will be circulated to the entire class in advance. And you'll be required to write one longer paper (approximately 20 pages long), due at the end of the semester. The longer paper may either be a conventional "term paper" or may be an appellate brief addressing current Fourth Amendment litigation -- either way, you'll need advance approval for your topic.