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News Posted on February 27, 2013

Dean Johnson Discusses Fourth Amendment on ABC News10

Dean Kevin R. Johnson commented for local ABC television affiliate KXTV on Fourth Amendment issues raised by the federal government's use of the border search exception to seize and search individuals' electronic devices without probable cause as far as 100 miles from U.S. borders.

In a full-length interview available on the station's website, Dean Johnson explained that the Supreme Court has always recognized a border exception to Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable search and seizure.  Recently, in response to security concerns raised by the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Customs and Border Protection have expanded the use of the exception to justify seizures and searches of laptops, cellphones, and other devices in a "border region" defined as extending 100 miles from actual border lines.

Dean Johnson said that although the security issues are real, there is legitimate cause for concern about potential violations of Fourth Amendment rights. "Just because there are security concerns, and there are security concerns, doesn't mean that individual rights evaporate," he said.

Kevin R. Johnson is Dean and Mabie-Apallas Professor of Public Interest Law and Chicana/o studies at UC Davis School of Law. He is an internationally recognized scholar in the fields of immigration law and policy, refugee law, and civil rights.

KXTV News10 report

Full interview