Washington Law Review


The "war on drugs" and the effort to contain international terrorism have raised questions of when the Constitution restricts the actions of the United States government abroad. This Note analyzes United States v. Verdugo-Urquidez, a case in which the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that aliens have fourth amendment rights against United States government searches of their residences abroad. The Note agrees that the court's holding was correct, but suggests the court's "natural rights" theory was too broad to comport with prior Supreme Court limitations of aliens' constitutional rights. Instead, the Note suggests that the relationship between an alien and the United States must be examined before constitutional rights are extended to aliens. The Note concludes that the relationship between alien criminal defendants and the United States government justifies the extension of fourth amendment rights.

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