warrantless searches, consent searches, public housing, privacy, safety, crime, search and seizure, Camara v. Municipal Court
The problems of public housing-including crime, drugs, and gun violence- have received an enormous amount of national attention. Much attention has also focused on warrantless searches and consent searches as solutions to these problems. This Note addresses the constitutionality of these proposals and asserts that if the Supreme Court's current Fourth Amendment jurisprudence is taken to its logical extremes, warrantless searches in public housing can be found constitutional. The author argues, however, that such an interpretation fails to strike the proper balance between public need and privacy in the public housing context. The Note concludes by proposing alternative consent-based regimes that would pass constitutional muster.
Guy-Uriel Charles, Fourth Amendment Accommodations: (UN)Compelling Public Needs, Balancing Acts, and the Fiction of Consent, 2 Michigan Journal of Race & Law 461-512 (1997)