The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) today joined an amicus brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to hear a case about the standards for lawful searches and seizures under the Fourth Amendment.
In Sievers v. Nebraska, the Nebraska Supreme Court conflated “suspicion-based” searches and seizures, which require probable cause or reasonable suspicion of an individual’s criminal activity, with “suspicionless” searches and seizures, to which all members of the public are subject. The underlying case challenges a police stop of a motorist suspected of illegal drug activity and possession of stolen goods without evidence that he committed those crimes.
Led by the firm Kirkland & Ellis LLP, the brief was also joined by the American Civil Liberties Union, American Civil Liberties Union of Nebraska, Cato Institute, and the Policing Project at NYU School of Law. The brief traces the Founder’s intent in drafting the Fourth Amendment to protect against overly intrusive governmental searches and seizures experienced during British colonialism. The brief calls on the U.S. Supreme Court to correct the misunderstanding of multiple courts, which are permitting the type of governmental intrusions that the Fourth Amendment was designed to prohibit.
Read the amicus brief here.
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Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization and has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF.