The Champion

March 2003 , Page 34 

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Fourth Amendment Forum

By Milton Hirsch

Is profiling a constitutionally-permissible weapon in the War on Terror? Yes

Let's start with a simple quiz: Suppose that the National Traffic Safety Board has determined, after an exhaustive study and in the face of overwhelming empirical data, that the new Jeep Hindenberg rolls over and explodes. In light of this information, the federal government should: 

a. Order the immediate recall of all current model Jeep Hindenbergs; or 

b. Order all automobile manufacturers GM, Ford, Chrysler, Mercedes, Toyota, etc. etc. to recall every tenth car at random. Recalling only Jeep Hindenbergs would violate the Equal Protection principle, and it might hurt some people's feelings. 

If you checked "a," you're ready to have a serious discussion about profiling. (If you look across the page, you'll see that my partner David wants you to check "b." Would you buy a Jeep Hindenberg from him?)  

Ready or not, serious discussion about profiling is underway. If the criminal defense bar is unwilling

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