I’d be interested in knowing whether the originalists in the audience approve of Section III(b) of Justice Scalia’s opinion in Hudson v. Michigan, in which he applies the 1980s-vintage balancing test for whether suppression is appropriate by noting recent trends in police training and public interest litigation. An excerpt:
. . . Congress has authorized attorney’s fees for civil-rights plaintiffs. This remedy was unavailable in the heydays of our exclusionary-rule jurisprudence, because it is tied to the availability of a cause of action. For years after Mapp, “very few lawyers would even consider representation of persons who had civil rights claims against the police,” but now “much haschanged. Citizens and lawyers are much more willing toseek relief in the courts for police misconduct.” M. Avery, D. Rudovsky, & K. Blum, Police Misconduct: Law andLitigation, p. v (3d ed. 2005); see generally N. Aron, Liberty and Justice for All: Public Interest Law in the 1980s and Beyond (1989) (describing the growth of public-interest law). The number of public-interest law firms and lawyers who specialize in civil-rights grievances has greatly expanded. . . .
Another development over the past half-century that deters civil-rights violations is the increasing professionalism of police forces, including a new emphasis on internal police discipline. Even as long ago as 1980 we felt it proper to “assume” that unlawful police behavior would “be dealt with appropriately” by the authorities, United States v. Payner, 447 U. S. 727, 733–734, n. 5 (1980), but we now have increasing evidence that police forces across the United States take the constitutional rights of citizens seriously. There have been “wide-ranging reforms in the education, training, and supervision of police officers.” S. Walker, Taming the System: The Control of Discretion in Criminal Justice 1950–1990, p. 51 (1993). Numerous sources are now available to teach officers and their supervisors what is required of them under this Court’scases, how to respect constitutional guarantees in various situations, and how to craft an effective regime for internal discipline. See, e.g., D. Waksman & D. Goodman, The Search and Seizure Handbook (2d ed. 2006); A. Stone & S.DeLuca, Police Administration: An Introduction (2d ed. 1994); E. Thibault, L. Lynch, & R. McBridge, Proactive Police Management (4th ed. 1998). Failure to teach and enforce constitutional requirements exposes municipalitiesto financial liability. See Canton v. Harris, 489 U. S. 378, 388 (1989). Moreover, modern police forces are staffed with professionals; it is not credible to assert that internal discipline, which can limit successful careers, will not havea deterrent effect. There is also evidence that the increasing use of various forms of citizen review can enhance police accountability.
Am I right that Scalia is saying that the meaning of the Fourth Amendment can change over time as the staffing of police departments and public interest law offices changes? The Constitution — It’s alive! This is a plausible view based on Fourth Amendment precedents, I should point out. Still, it’s sort of funny to read it in an opinion by Justice Scalia.