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Fourth Amendment Cases for the Term

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At SCOTUSblog, Orin Kerr has this summary of the Fourth Amendment cases for the U.S. Supreme Court term just ended.  There were five, but only three were decided on the merits:  Kentucky v. King on exigent circumstances, Davis v. United States on a good-faith exception to exclusion for a change in case law, and Ashcroft v. al-Kidd on qualified immunity from civil suit.  I think it is worth noting (though Orin does not) that only one of the three was a substantive Fourth Amendment issue.  The other two were about remedies.

What's the take-away from the Term's Fourth Amendment cases?   Three quick observations come to mind.

First, the current Court is rather friendly to the government in Fourth Amendment cases.    Of the three cases on the merits, the government's side won 23 votes and lost only 3 votes.   This Term, at least, none of the Fourth Amendment cases were even close.  Second, it's interesting that Justice Alito wrote two of the three cases....

Finally, it's particularly interesting that neither of the two newest Justices, Justices Sotomayor and Kagan, voted for a defendant or civil plaintiff in any of the three cases.

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