03 June 2004

The Fiction of the Fourth Amendment

From Fourth Amendment.com:
Withdrawal of consent must be specific; defendant's complaint about the length of his detention was not specific enough: United States v Gray (2004, CA8 Ark) 2004 US App Lexis 10621. (Comment: When the cops are rummaging through your car and your belongings, what kind of words would the average person think are required to limit consent? When the cops are throwing your stuff around, what normal human being thinks that he can say "Stop"? Nobody does. This is one of those cases approaching pure fiction on what a citizen has to do to limit consent. I also have to add this: The District Court sustained the search, and I will bet that it was with great reluctance. This case came from my hometown, and the District Judge hearing this case is one of the fairest, sharpest federal judges I have had the pleasure to appear before, and a genuinely good person to have on the federal bench. I am confident he knew that it was fiction, but much of the law of search and seizure is founded on fiction.)

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