January 15, 2013
A recent Lawyers.com article discussed a federal judge’s halt of the New York City Police Department’s “stop-and-frisk” program in the Bronx; the program has come under scrutiny for racial profiling. Judge Shira Scheindlin said police officers violated the Fourth Amendment by stopping people without reasonable suspicion that a crime was going to be committed. “There must be something other than racial or ethnic profiling” for the police to stop someone under the Fourth Amendment, says Distinguished Professor Ruthann Robson. The Fourth Amendment should also prohibit “geographic profiling,” she adds. “That a person is in a high crime area or outside or in a particular building should not be accepted as the only fact that gives rise to reasonable suspicion; there must be additional facts.”
Prof. Robson teaches in the areas of constitutional law, family law, feminist legal theory, and sexuality and the law. She is the author of many articles in such journals as New York Law School Journal of Human Rights, Albany Law Review, Women’s Rights Law Reporter, Hastings Law Journal, Australian Feminist Law Journal, and Yearbook of New Zealand Jurisprudence.