Florida A&M University Law Dean, 4th Amendment Scholar Endorses U.S. Supreme Court Decision

Orlando, FL – June 6, 2018 –  Interim Law Dean LeRoy Pernell, a distinguished member of a group of 50 Fourth Amendment scholars, endorsed an amicus brief supporting the petitioner’s position in a recent 8-1 Supreme Court victory regarding the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement.

“The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Collins v. Commonwealth of Virginia, shines a bright light on the protected right to privacy under the Fourth Amendment,” notes LeRoy Pernell, Interim Dean and Professor at the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University College of Law. The ruling reversed the Virginia Supreme Court decision that held that the automobile exception to the Fourth Amendment justified an officer’s entry on private property to perform a physical search of the petitioner’s tarp-covered motorcycle, without a warrant – the traditional basis of Fourth Amendment protection. “In defense of the petitioner’s position, I’m grateful to have been part of advancing a constitutional debate that clarifies the scope and application of Fourth Amendment protections of privacy and personal security,” the Dean states further.

In response to a local Fourth Amendment “right to privacy” issue, the Dean’s guest column Facial Recognition – U.S. Constitutional Issues, appeared in the Orlando Sentinel on Thursday, May 24, 2018.     The column addresses potential constitutional issues raised by the recently announced intent of the Orlando Police Department to explore a facial recognition system developed by Amazon. View article at the following link: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/opinion/os-ed-opd-facial-recognition-us-constitution-20180523-story.html. Another recent article written by the Dean, “Racial Justice and Federal Habeas Corpus as Postconviction Relief from State Convictions,” appears in the Winter 2018 issue of Mercer Law Review.

Pernell has served as Interim Dean since May 2017.  Previously serving as Dean from January 2008 through June 2015, he is credited with providing the stability that led to the law school acquiring full accreditation from the American Bar Association in 2009 and full reaccreditation in 2014.


About FAMU College of Law

The FAMU College of Law is located in the heart of Downtown Orlando, just steps from the George C. Young United States Courthouse and Federal Building; and blocks from governmental offices, major law firms, large corporations and legal service agencies.

The college’s prime location provides students with direct access to the area’s largest employers of individuals with law degrees, offering our students and graduates ample avenues to gain practical experience in the legal profession. With tuition among the lowest of the 13 law schools in Florida, along with a full-time day program and a part-time evening program, the college is distinctly positioned to offer the traditional student and the working professional a chance to earn a law degree while accruing minimal debt.

The College of Law’s student body is diverse – 72 percent minority and 56 percent women – helping to enrich a campus community where intellectual freedom and self-discovery are encouraged.  Thanks to its renowned faculty, the college focuses on academic excellence in the classroom; emphasizes practical experience and public service within its clinical programs; and stresses professionalism through its co-curricular activities.

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