Event Preview: Fourth Amendment Lecture

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This week, specifically March 28 at 12:10 p.m., Associate Professor Matthew Tokson from the University of Utah/S.J. Quinney College of Law will be giving a lecture titled “Unreasonable Search and Seizure,” organized by the Washburn School of Law, the “Washburn Law Journal” and the Foulston Siefkin law firm.

Jeremy Koehler, Editor-in-Chief of the “Washburn Law Journal” explained about Professor Tokson’s background, Tokson having served as a law clerk for two different Supreme Court Justice, including Ruth Bader Ginsberg, the Supreme Court case he is discussing.

 “He wrote an article that was discussed during oral arguments over a recent U.S. Supreme Court case, Carpenter v. United States, which is a case about whether a search warrant is required for cell site location information, like how you’ve got the location on your cell phone, the cell company knows where you were, so the case was about whether police needed a search warrant to get that information, and the court held that they did,” Koehler said. 

He then expanded on how he is going to incorporate it to the discussion.

“He is going to come here to discuss a little bit about that case and the aftermath of that case, and then also how the Fourth Amendment will apply to government surveillance technologies like drones, smart home devices like Alexa and Siri and web tracking and stuff like that,” Koehler said. “His lecture is going to sort of inspire an article he is working on that will be published in the ‘Washburn Law Journal,’ along with four other articles by experts in the area, so that will be published next fall.”

The Washburn Law School has this kind of lecture every year with professors coming from the country and all over the world, and with Foulson Siefkin sponsoring it, with Tokson’s being the 42nd iteration.  Koehler then explained how they choose the topic and the professor to speak about it.

“We set it up as a group. The stuff we do on our end. We find a topic we as a journal want to hear someone come talk about and then we find an expert in that field, and we think that the Fourth Amendment and criminal procedure can affect anyone’s lives. It is always relevant. You might get pulled over and searched any time. Learning about criminal procedure in our law school classes, we see how our technology changes the way the courts interpret the Fourth Amendment from the FBI listening in on payphone calls, or whether someone brings a recorder into a conversation with a friend and turns it over to police, and so trying to look to the future, predict how the courts will react, thus predicting how our lives will be impacted by what law enforcement is and isn’t allowed to do is interesting, and so we were excited to bring in an expert like professor Tokson, and it’s a topic that the journal as a whole found interesting, not just to ourselves but the rest of the Washburn and Topeka community.”