In this episode, Jeffrey Bellin, Professor of Law and University Professor for Teaching Excellence at William & Mary Law School, discusses his paper "Fourth Amendment Textualism," forthcoming in the Michigan Law Review. Bellin begins by exploring the problems with current Fourth Amendment “search” jurisprudence and its reliance on Katz v. United States’ amorphous 'reasonable expectation of privacy' test. He notes that current Fourth Amendment doctrine is nonintuitive and unclear for both state actors and the general public,and recommends, instead, a textualist approach. He expounds upon the approach, defining “search” in an intuitive manner, as well as offering definitions for the remaining applicable textual components of the Fourth Amendment, “their” and "persons, houses, papers, and effects," and discusses how such an approach would work in the twenty-first century. He concludes by discussing why this approach might be an improvement, and what scholars, lawyers, and the courts should take away from his proposal.


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Ipse Dixit (June 26, 2019)


Run time: 41 minutes