Faculty Notes

Prof. Alafair Burke Publishes Article on Consent Searches in Florida Law Review

Alafair S. Burke, Professor of Law and Hofstra Research Fellow

Professor Alafair Burke published “Consent Searches and Fourth Amendment Reasonableness” in the Florida Law Review, 67 Fla. L. Rev. 509 (2015). The article builds on a growing body of scholarship discussing the role of reasonableness in consent search doctrine.

Professor Burke argues that to assess the lawfulness of purportedly consensual searches under the Fourth Amendment, the Supreme Court has applied a concept of reasonableness borrowed from the Fifth Amendment’s focus on the voluntariness of confessions. She asserts that, by doing so, the Court has overlooked the usual concept of Fourth Amendment reasonableness, which requires a balance between government and individual interests.

The article maintains that consent searches would be more reasonable from a Fourth Amendment perspective if courts were to examine not only the voluntariness of the consent underlying the search, but also the government’s reasons for requesting the consent and the scope of the consent requested.

This fall, Professor Burke will deliver the Hofstra University Distinguished Faculty Lecture with remarks drawn from “Consent Searches and Fourth Amendment Reasonableness.”

Read Professor Burke’s article.