When it comes to policing, the U.S. Supreme Court too often plays the role of the garish sun. Scholars counsel that policing is the quintessential local activity, often repeating that the United States has up to 18,000 local police forces, and if one wants to change policing, the place to look is your police chief, sheriff, or mayor. Yet despite our own warnings, we cannot help staring towards that Washingtonian marbled temple, to divine the shape of policing to come. If the Supreme Court cannot readily modify policing in each city and hamlet, it is unique in its ability to establish binding nationwide Fourth Amendment rulings and set minimum guarantees on the limits of policing power. And though we know it to be ridiculous, we seek some magic bullet solution to cure the turmoil of contemporary debates and protests surrounding policing.

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American Constitution Society



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