Thursday, April 12, 2007

Stephens and Glenn on the Historical Development of the Law of Unreasonable Searches and Seizures

Otis Stephens and Richard Glenn have posted three chapters on SSRN of their new book, Unreasonable Searches and Seizures: Rights and Liberties Under the Law, Otis Stephens & Richard Glenn, eds., (ABC-CLIO, 2006).

NOTE TO AUTHORS: Even if your press won't let you post a chapter, posting an abstract for your book on SSRN is a good way to get the word out. Often, a press takes the position that posting the introduction and table of contents is good PR. That's what I did here and here.

Here's the book abstract:
Unreasonable Searches and Seizures examines the Fourth Amendment from its historical origins through its early development to current controversies. Through thorough and well-balanced research this book provides a rich and comprehensive source of information about search and seizure law. The book is clearly written, providing simple and precise explanations of complicated constitutional issues without obscuring the central and important problems which these issues present. This book serves as a basis for evaluating the question of the Fourth Amendments continuing relevance in seeking the balance between the protection of individual liberty and the demand for effective law enforcement. In accomplishing its purpose the book examines five distinct areas of search and seizure law. First, it discusses the role of search and seizure law in our society and its implications for the American political system. Secondly, the book reveals the origins and early development of search and seizure law by looking at the English, colonial, and revolutionary experiences from which it arose. Thirdly, it explores the evolution and devolution of Fourth Amendment protections from the late nineteenth century through the opening years of the twenty-first century by analyzing significant judicial decisions. Lastly, the book speculates on recent trends in search and seizure jurisprudence by examining the issues and controversies that have been most visible in the last decade, with particular emphasis on the potential adverse effects of the USA PATRIOT Act on Fourth Amendment protections.

Posted are:
Chaper 2: Origins
Chapter 3: Twentieth Century Issues
Chapter 4: Twenty-First Century

The full book can be found here on