Those looking for an easy way to protect their homes from unreasonable searches and seizures can now find it at the reasonable price of just $26.40.
Law professors Andrew Ferguson and Stephen Henderson designed a series of lawn signs and bumper stickers that American citizens can use to enforce their Fourth Amendment rights on their property. “LAWn Signs” products are all available for purchase on Zazzle.
“The problem with constitutional rights is that they’re really abstract,” Ferguson told me in a phone interview today. Giving people the opportunity to post their protections in their yards or on their cars make them “tangible and visual,” he explained.Ferguson said the idea came from Justice Antonin Scalia’s majority opinion in Florida v. Jardines, which discussed the issues of implied consent and what kind of permission people give to Girl Scouts or trick-or-treaters in comparison to police officers with drug-sniffing dogs.
The two professors initially co-authored a law review article on Jardines, which Ferguson said most people won’t read. As an educator, Ferguson thought LAWn Signs created the perfect opportunity for the average citizen to learn about their rights.
The issue took on more significance with an opinion last week by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. The court picked apart the content of “no trespassing” signs around the defendant’s house, finding that those signs didn’t revoke the implied permission for a police officer to knock on someone’s door.
In addition to bringing some legal humor to the masses, Ferguson said he hopes the signs start a conversation that inspires people to learn about their rights under the Fourth Amendment.
Having these constitutional rights come alive is kind of my dream,” Ferguson said.
But really, isn’t that every criminal law nerd’s dream, though?
Follow along with the latest criminal law news and developments with a free trial to Criminal Law Reporter.
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