Fourth Amendment

Surveillance, National Security, and Privacy: The PCLOB Report on Section 702 Surveillance - Podcast

International & National Security Law Practice Group Podcast
Rachel Brand, James X. Dempsey, Matthew R.A. Heiman August 14, 2014

The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) recently released its report on the surveillance program authorized under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The report includes an evaluation of whether the surveillance program comports with the terms of the statute, an evaluation of the Fourth Amendment issues raised by the program, and a discussion of the treatment of non-U.S. persons under the program. Also, the report makes policy recommendations for the program going forward. Two members of the PCLOB will discuss the report on this Teleforum and answer audience questions.

  • Hon. Rachel Brand, Chief Counsel for Regulatory Litigation, National Chamber Litigation Center, United States Chamber of Commerce; Member, Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board; former Assistant U.S. Attorney General for Legal Policy, United States Department of Justice
  • Hon. James X. Dempsey, Senior Counsel, Center for Democracy & Technology; Member, Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board
  • Moderator: Matthew R.A. Heiman, Vice President, Chief Compliance & Ethics Officer, Tyco

Privacy and National Security: The Merits of the Leahy FISA Reform Bill - Podcast

International & National Security Law Practice Group Podcast
Stewart A. Baker, Harley Geiger August 13, 2014

Following the Snowden leaks, the country is once again re-examining the proper balance between national security and individual privacy. Senator Patrick Leahy (Vermont) has introduced a bill that would revise aspects of certain NSA surveillance programs. Two leading experts addressed the merits of this bill.

  • Hon. Stewart A. Baker, Partner, Steptoe & Johnson LLP
  • Harley Geiger, Senior Counsel and Deputy Director, Freedom, Security and Surveillance Project, Center for Democracy & Technology

Big Win for Internet Privacy

Short video with Orin Kerr discussing Riley v. California decision
Orin S. Kerr June 30, 2014

On June 25 the Supreme Court unanimously decided Riley v. California, a case involving the authority of police to search the contents of cell phones they take from people they have arrested without a warrant.

In an opinion by Chief Justice Roberts, the Court held that searching digital information on a cell phone ordinarily requires a warrant even if the arrestee is carrying it at the time of arrest.  The decision consolidates two cases: Riley v. California and United States v. Wurie.

Orin Kerr (George Washington University Law School) discusses the case.


Plumhoff v. Rickard - Post-Decision SCOTUScast

SCOTUScast 5-30-14 featuring Josh Skinner
Joshua Skinner May 30, 2014

Joshua SkinnerOn May 27, 2014, the Supreme Court issued its opinion in Plumhoff v. Rickard. This case presented two questions: (1) Whether the Sixth Circuit wrongly denied qualified immunity to the police officers by analyzing whether the force used was supported by subsequent case decisions rather than prohibited by clearly established law at the time the force was used; and (2) whether the Sixth Circuit further erred in holding the officers’ use of force was not reasonable as a matter of law when the suspect led police officers on a high-speed pursuit that began in Arkansas and ended in Tennessee, weaved through traffic on an interstate at a high rate of speed and made contact with the police vehicles twice, and used his vehicle in a final attempt to escape after he was surrounded by police officers, nearly hitting at least one police officer in the process.

In an opinion delivered by Justice Alito, the Court held that the officer's conduct did not violate the Fourth Amendment and that, even if it had, they would still be entitled to qualified immunity because they had violated no clearly established law. Chief Justice Roberts, as well as Justices Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas, Sotomayor, and Kagan joined the opinion of the Court. Justice Ginsburg joined as to the judgment and Parts I, II, and III, and Justice Breyer joined except as to part III-B-2. The decision of the Sixth Circuit was reversed and the case was remanded.

To discuss the case, we have Joshua Skinner, who is a member of Fanning Harper Martinson Brandt & Kutchin.