The Champion

November 2003 , Page 36 

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Should the Katz test for Fourth Amendment interest be abandoned?

By Milton Hirsch, David Oscar Markus

Read more Fourth Amendment Forum columns.

Arnold Rothstein was such a big-time gambler that he could fix the World Series. Charles Katz probably couldn’t fix a leaky faucet.  

Katz’s entire role in the gambling world was to walk to the bank of pay phones near his Los Angeles apartment, there to place calls to Miami and elsewhere, the content of which took the form, “Give me Duquesne minus 7 for a nickel.” The FBI put microphones on top of the phone booths, recorded Katz’s words, and had a ready-made charge of violation of 18 U.S.C. 1084, using a wire communication facility for the transmission in interstate commerce of bets or wagers on sporting events.  

Before the district court, and again on appeal to the Ninth Circuit, Katz argued that his illicit conversation had been unlawfully seized in violation of the Fourth Amendment and was therefore subject to suppression. Applying existing Fourth Amendment doctrine, the federal courts observed that Katz did not own the public phone booths in which he chos

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