Predicting Future Supreme Court Decisions on Race and the Fourth Amendment

Norkin, Walter M.
September 2002
Texas Journal on Civil Liberties & Civil Rights;Fall2002, Vol. 7 Issue 2, p167
Academic Journal
The article focuses on the forecasting of future Supreme Court decisions on race and the Fourth Amendment. It also explores the territory bounded by race and reasonable suspicion by, drawing a specific distinction between "personal" and professional experience and knowledge. Reasonable suspicion determinations involving race have received renewed attention in the wake of September 11. Increasing their efforts to prevent terrorist attacks, law enforcement agencies have started to closely scrutinize those in the U.S. of Middle Eastern descent, no doubt formulating a terrorist profile. Regardless of whatever willingness the public may have to allow law enforcement wide latitude to prevent attacks, terrorist profiles that include race may not be a reasonable option. The analysis in this article supports two deductions. First, despite the Court's previous ruling upholding the constitutionality of separately using race and criminal profiles to form reasonable suspicion, the use of racial profiling is far from presumably constitutional. Second, this Court will eventually permit reliance on personal knowledge to infiltrate reasonable suspicion determinations.


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