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The Champion

August 2006 , Page 50 

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Hudson v. Michigan: Whose Fourth Amendment is It, Anyway?

By Milton Hirsch

Read more Fourth Amendment Forum columns.

As a writer of judicial opinions, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is a brilliant advocate and polemicist. On a good day the man can sell shoe polish for toothpaste.

To compliment a judge’s opinion writing is not to bestow an unalloyed compliment. The greatest legal mind of our time has said of the greatest legal mind in our history: “Some of [Justice Oliver Wendell] Holmes’s best opinions ... possibly the most famous and influential of all his opinions, owe their distinction to their rhetorical skill rather than to the qualities of their reasoning; often they are not well reasoned at all.”1 Still, “brilliant opinion writer” is a compliment, alloyed or un-, and I want to begin with a compliment.

I want to begin with a compliment because this column is about Justice Scalia’s opinion in Hudson v. Michigan,2 and I am not going to have anything else nice to say.

Booker Hudson was sitting at home minding his own business when the police knocked his door down. As it happens, the business

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