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Copyright (c) 2000 Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center 
Touro Law Review

PRACTISING LAW INSTITUTE: SECTION 1983 CIVIL RIGHTS LITIGATION SYMPOSIUM: Supreme Court's 1998-1999 Term: Fourth Amendment Decisions

Spring, 2000

16 Touro L. Rev. 811

Author

Kathryn R. Urbonya*

Excerpt

JUDGE PRATT:

At this point we are going to move into the Fourth Amendment, Supreme Court developments of last term from Professor Urbonya followed by some commentary by Judge Raggi in this area.

PROF. URBONYA:

Before I begin, how many of you have actually worked on a Section 1983 case involving a traffic stop? What I would like to start with are the traffic stop cases. But I would like to begin with Whren v. United States case, 1 which is an old case, just to give us a background of where we are going. Judge Raggi is going to be the commentator after my discussion. She had previously asked me if I had a theme for the cases. Today I respond to her question by stating two themes: expanding police powers and discarding the presumption of a warrant requirement.

How often do we find a Fourth Amendment violation? 2 Very rarely, the Court expanded police powers this term once again and created a paradigm shift. I guess that sounds very academic. Instead of asking, "Where is the warrant?" (we do not ask that question anymore), we ask, "What does the common law have to say?" If the common law does not answer the question, then we look to reasonableness. I can actually say that I have seen this shift in practice occur. I read one of the cases that is pending in the Supreme Court, the Wardlow case, 3 and I was surprised to see that every single ...
 
 
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