Monthly Archives: March 2014

No “Good-Faith” Required: The Broad Interpretation of the Davis Good-Faith Exception to the Exclusionary Rule

Author: Cameron Downer, Associate Member, University of Cincinnati Law Review

On June 16, 2011, the United States Supreme Court in Davis v. United States expanded the application of the good-faith exception to the Fourth Amendment exclusionary rule.[1] The Court held that the exclusionary rule does not apply to Fourth Amendment violations when officers act in objectively reasonable reliance on binding precedent that is later overturned.[2]

The ambiguous holding in Davis failed to give a bright-line rule to help courts determine whether the good-faith exception should apply. Instead of applying the more equitable narrow interpretation, some courts are applying an overly broad interpretation of Davis that allows officers to pick and choose what law to rely on in justifying their police practices. That interpretation of Davis has led to the inequitable adjudication of Fourth Amendment violations and is converting Fourth Amendment rights into a “mere form of words.”[3] As a consequence, with the development and use of new police technology, the broad interpretation of the exclusionary rule will leave people vulnerable to Fourth Amendment violations without the right to a remedy.

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Smile…You’re on Traffic Cameras!

Author: Chris Tieke, Contributing Member, University of Cincinnati Law Review

Bradley L. Walker v. City of Toledo, et al. and the fate of Ohio’s municipal automated traffic enforcement programs.

Under Article XVIII of the Ohio Constitution, municipalities have home rule powers that provide them the “authority to exercise all powers of local self-government and to adopt and enforce within their limits such local police, sanitary and other similar regulations, as are not in conflict with general laws.”[i] This year the Ohio Supreme Court will decide whether a chartered Ohio municipality has the constitutional right under its home rule powers to conduct administrative hearings as a means of enforcing punishments for violations of its red light and speed monitoring camera systems.  This case comes to the Court on appeal from a decision of the Ohio Court of Appeals Sixth Appellate District which held that a City of Toledo ordinance instituting an automated traffic enforcement system unconstitutionally attempted to usurp the jurisdiction of the municipal courts as provided to them by the legislature in R.C. 1901.20.[ii]  The Supreme Court of Ohio should affirm the Sixth District’s decision and find the Toledo ordinance unconstitutional since jurisdiction over all traffic violations rests exclusively with municipal courts and the ordinance unconstitutionally conflicts with general state traffic laws.

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Where Due Process and Equal Protection Meet: Articulating the “Fundamental Right” of Marriage

Author: Ryan Goellner, Associate Member, University of Cincinnati Law Review

Since the Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Windsor[1] last summer, two questions have been on many court watchers’ minds. First, after Windsor articulated a lengthy reasoning for its decision to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act, under what standard of review will courts evaluate laws that discriminate against same-sex couples? Second, can the standard for invalidating the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) under the Fifth Amendment be applied to States through the Fourteenth Amendment, or even be enunciated in a meaningful way? The Supreme Court’s current line of jurisprudence on constitutional problems that implicate same-sex issues necessitates that these two questions be considered and answered together,[2] as the United States District Court in Utah did in Kitchen v. Herbert.[3] Ultimately, the Kitchen case shows that the reasoning used in Windsor might not have been the soundest way to analyze the issues presented, and that there are alternative lines of reasoning that better support same-sex couples’ efforts to overturn state bans on gay marriage.

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