Monday, December 31, 2012

Featured Paper: Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes?

I'd like to highlight a new student paper by Craig Roush, a law student at Marquette University Law School. The full title is: Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Limits on Widespread Surveillance and Intelligence Gathering By Local Law Enforcement After 9/11. Craig analyzes the changes in intelligence and surveillance gathering after 9/11 and in particular, the way in which local law enforcement has become intricately involved in the process. He goes on to identify the implications of such practices on civil liberties, and concludes by offering suggestions for protecting civil liberties through legislative methods. I've read a lot of student papers while on law review (this is my 3rd year), and I have no problem saying this is one of the best papers I have read. The abstract is below:

In the decade since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, local law enforcement has become the front line in the nation’s counterterrorism strategy. This involvement has not come without controversy. As part of these counterterrorism efforts, police departments have begun to establish widespread surveillance and intelligence-gathering networks to monitor Muslim and other ethnic neighborhoods in the hopes of stopping the next terrorist attack at its source. Such surveillance does not necessarily run afoul of the Constitution, and both our political environment—in which voters demand that the government stop terrorism at all costs—as well as unprecedented levels of federal funding to fight terrorism have made these surveillance programs an attractive option for local law enforcement. But the same programs risk compromising citizens’ civil liberties and damaging police relationships with ethnic communities. This Comment analyzes whether and how a balance might be struck between national security and individual civil liberties interests, and offers a model statutory solution drawn from police surveillance in a non-terrorism- related context as one possible way forward.


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