The Champion

June 2009 , Page 5 

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A Great Reawakening (President's Column)

By John Wesley Hall

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“The Fourth Amendment isn’t dead,” Gerald Goldstein used to say years ago. “It’s only resting.” Like Monty Python’s Norwegian Blue Parrot, he insisted it was just “pining for the fjords.” Goldstein really believed that parrot was alive. But only a few of us believed him. A whole generation of lawyers have grown up scoffing, “The Fourth Amendment? That’s something you guys had back in the ’60s.”

Yes, for years, we old-timers still pretended the Fourth Amendment was alive,1 even while legal scholars and courtroom defenders lamented it had kicked the bucket, shuffled off its mortal coil, run down the curtain, and joined the bleeding choir invisible. We had to. It was our job. But the Fourth Amendment looked very much like an ex-parrot.2 

That is, until April 21, 2009, when the Supreme Court handed down Arizona v. Gant,3 and ruled 5 to 4 (not the usual suspects) that the Fourth Amendment is not dead, it’s just been in a 28-year coma. Like Rip Van Winkle,4 it has come back (well, somewhat bac

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