Berger v. New York/Dissent Harlan

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Court Documents
Case Syllabus
Opinion of the Court
Concurring Opinions
Douglas
Stewart
Dissenting Opinions
Black
Harlan
White
Wikipedia-logo-v2.svg Wikipedia article

United States Supreme Court

388 U.S. 41

Berger  v.  New York

 Argued: April 13, 1967. --- Decided: June 12, 1967


Mr. Justice HARLAN, dissenting.

The Court in recent years has more and more taken to itself sole responsibility for setting the pattern of criminal law enforcement throughout the country. Time-honored distinctions between the constitutional protections afforded against federal authority by the Bill of Rights and those provided against the action by the Fourteenth Amendment have been obliterated, thus increasingly subjecting state criminal law enforcement policies to oversight by this Court. See, e. g., Mapp v. Ohio, 367 U.S. 643, 81 S.Ct. 1684, 6 L.Ed.2d 1081; Ker v. State of California, 374 U.S. 23, 83 S.Ct. 1623, 10 L.Ed.2d 726; Malloy v. Hogan, 378 U.S. 1, 84 S.Ct. 1489, 12 L.Ed.2d 653; Murphy v. Waterfront Commission, 378 U.S. 52, 84 S.Ct. 1594, 12 L.Ed.2d 678. Newly contrived constitutional rights have been established without any apparent concern for the empirical process that goes with legislative reform. See, e. g., Miranda v. State of Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 86 S.Ct. 1602, 16 L.Ed.2d 694. And overlying the particular decisions to which this course has given rise is the fact that, short of future action by this Court, their impact can only be undone or modified by the slow and uncertain process of constitutional amendment.

Today's decision is in this mold. Despite the fact that the use of electronic eavesdropping devices as instruments of criminal law enforcement is currently being comprehensively addressed by the Congress and various other bodies in the country, the Court has chosen, quite unnecessarily, to decide this case in a manner which will seriously restrict, if not entirely thwart, such efforts, and will freeze further progress in this field, except as the Court may itself act or a constitutional amendment may set things right.

In my opinion what the Court is doing is very wrong, and I must respectfully dissent.

I am, at the outset, divided from the majority by the way in which it has determined to approach the case. Without pausing to explain or to justify its reasoning, it has undertaken both to circumvent rules which have hitherto governed the presentation of constitutional issues to this Court, and to disregard the construction consistently attributed to a state statute by the State's own courts. Each of these omissions is, in my opinion, most unfortunate.

The Court declares, without further explanation, that since petitioner was "affected" by § 813-a, he may challenge its validity on its face. Nothing in the cases of this Court supports this wholly ambiguous standard; the Court until now has, in recognition of the intense difficulties so wide a rule might create for the orderly adjudication of constitutional issues, limited the situations in which state statutes may be challenged on their face. There is no reason here, apart from the momentary conveniences of this case, to abandon those limitations: none of the circumstances which have before properly been thought to warrant challenges of statutes on their face is present, cf. Thornhill v. State of Alabama, 310 U.S. 88, 98, 60 S.Ct. 736, 742, 84 L.Ed. 1093, and no justification for additional exceptions has been offered. See en erally United States v. National Dairy Products Corp., 372 U.S. 29, 36, 83 S.Ct. 594, 599, 9 L.Ed.2d 561; Aptheker v. Secretary of State, 378 U.S. 500, 521, 84 S.Ct. 1659, 1671, 12 L.Ed.2d 992 (dissenting opinion). Petitioner's rights, and those of others similarly situated, can be fully vindicated through the adjudication of the consistency with the Fourteenth Amendment of each eavesdropping order.

If the statute is to be assessed on its face, the Court should at least adhere to the principle that, for purposes of assessing the validity under the Constitution of a state statute, the construction given the statute by the State's courts is conclusive of its scope and meaning. Fox v. Washington, 236 U.S. 273, 35 S.Ct. 383, 59 L.Ed. 573; Winters v. People of State of New York, 333 U.S. 507, 68 S.Ct. 665, 92 L.Ed. 840; Poulos v. State of New Hamsphire, 345 U.S. 395, 73 S.Ct. 760, 97 L.Ed. 1105. This principle is ultimately a consequence of the differences in function of the state and federal judicial systems. The strength with which it has hitherto been held may be estimated in part by the frequency with which the Court has in the past declined to adjudicate issues, often of great practical and constitutional importance, until the state courts "have been afforded a reasonable opportunity to pass upon them." Harrison v. NAACP, 360 U.S. 167, 176, 79 S.Ct. 1025, 1030, 3 L.Ed.2d 1152. See, e.g., Railroad Comm. of Texas v. Pullman Co., 312 U.S. 496, 61 S.Ct. 643, 85 L.Ed. 971; Spector Motor Service, Inc. v. McLaughlin, 323 U.S. 101, 65 S.Ct. 152, 89 L.Ed. 101; Shipman v. DuPre, 339 U.S. 321, 70 S.Ct. 640, 94 L.Ed. 877; Albertson v. Millard, 345 U.S. 242, 73 S.Ct. 600, 97 L.Ed. 983; Government and Civic Employees, etc. v. Windsor, 353 U.S. 364, 77 S.Ct. 838, 1 L.Ed.2d 894.

The Court today entirely disregards this principle. In its haste to give force to its distaste for eavesdropping, it has apparently resolved that no attention need be given to the construction of § 813-a adopted by the state courts. Apart from a brief and partial acknowledgment, spurred by petitioner's concession, that the state cases might warrant exploration, the Court has been content simply to compare the terms of the statute with the provisions of the Fourth Amendment; upon discovery that their words differ, it has concluded that the statute is constitutionally impermissible. In sharp contrast, when confronted by Fourth Amendment issues under a federal statute which did not, and does not now, reproduce ipsissimis verbis the Fourth Amendment, 26 U.S.C. § 7607(2), the Court readily concluded, upon the authority of cases in the courts of appeals, that the statute effectively embodied the Amendment's requirements. Draper v. United States, 358 U.S. 307, 310 n., 79 S.Ct. 329, 331, 3 L.Ed.2d 327. And the Court, without the assistance even of state authorities, reached an identical conclusion as to a similar state statute in Ker v. California, 374 U.S. 23, 36 n., 83 S.Ct. 1623, 1631, 10 L.Ed.2d 726. The circumstances of the present case do not come even within the narrow exceptions to the rule that the Court ordinarily awaits a state court's construction before adjudicating the validity of a state statute. Cf. Dombrowski v. Pfister, 380 U.S. 479, 85 S.Ct. 1116, 14 L.Ed.2d 22; Baggett v. Bullitt, 377 U.S. 360, 84 S.Ct. 1316, 12 L.Ed.2d 377. The Court has shown no justification for its disregard of existing and pertinent state authorities.

The Court's precipitate neglect of the New York cases is the more obviously regrettable when their terms are examined, for they make quite plain that the state courts have fully recognized the applicability of the relevant federal constitutional requirements, and that they have construed § 813-a in conformity with those requirements. Opinions of the state courts repeatedly suggest that the "reasonable grounds" prescribed by the section are understood to be synonymous with the "probable cause" demanded by the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment. People v. Cohen, 42 Misc.2d 403, 404, 248 N.Y.S.2d 339, 341; People v. Grossman, 45 Misc.2d 557, 568, 257 N.Y.S.2d 266, 277; People v. Beshany, 43 Misc.2d 521, 525, 252 N.Y.S.2d 110, 115. The terms are frequently employed interchangeably, without the least suggestion of any shadings of meaning. See, e.g., People v. Rogers, 46 Misc.2d 860, 863, 261 N.Y.S.2d 152, 155; People v. McDonough, 51 Misc.2d 1065, 1069, 275 N.Y.S.2d 8, 12. Further, a lower state court. has stated quite specifically that "the same standards, at the least, must be applied" to orders under § 813-a as to warrants for the search and seizure of tangible objects. People v. Cohen, supra, 42 Misc.2d, at 407-408, 248 N.Y.S.2d, at 344. Indeed, the court went on to say that the standards "should be much more stringent than those applied to search warrants." Id., at 408, 248 N.Y.S.2d, at 344. Compare Siegel v. People, 16 N.Y.S.2d 330, 332, 266 N.Y.S.2d 386, 387, 213 N.E.2d 682, 683. The court in Cohen was concerned with a wiretap order, but the order had been issued under § 813-a, and there was no suggestion there or elsewhere that eavesdropping orders should be differently treated. New York's statutory requirements for search warrants, it must be emphasized, are virtually a literal reiteration of the terms of the Fourth Amendment. N.Y.Code Crim.Proc. § 793. If the Court wished a precise invocation of the terms of the Fourth Amendment, it had only to examine the pertinent state authorities.

There is still additional evidence that the State fully recognizes the applicability to eavesdropping orders of the Fourth Amendment's constraints. The Legislature of New York adopted in 1962 comprehensive restrictions upon the use of eavesdropped information obtained without a prior § 813-a order. N.Y.Civ.Proc. § 4506. The restrictions were expected and intended to give full force to the mandate of the opinion for this Court in Mapp v. Ohio, 367 U.S. 643, 81 S.Ct. 1684, 6 L.Ed.2d 1081. See 2 McKinney's Session Laws of New York 3677 (1962); New York State Legislative Annual 16 (1962). If it was then supposed that information obtained without a prior § 813-a order must, as a consequence of Mapp, be excluded from evidence, but that evidence obtained with a § 813-a order need not be excluded, it can only have been assumed that the requirements applicable to the issuance of § 813-a orders were entirely consistent with the demands of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments. The legislature recognized the "hiatus" in its law created by Mapp, and wished to set its own "house * * * in order." New York State Legislative Annual, supra, at 18. It plainly understood that the Amendments were applicable, and intended to adhere fully to their requirements.

New York's permissive eavesdropping statute must, for purposes of assessing its constitutional validity on its face, be read "as though" this judicial gloss had been "written into" it. Poulos v. State of New Hampshire, supra, 345 U.S., at 402, 73 S.Ct., at 765. I can only conclude that, so read, the statute incorporates as limitations upon its employment the requirements of the Fourth Amendment.

The Court has frequently observed that the Fourth Amendment's two clauses impose separate, although related, limitations upon searches and seizures; the first "is general and forbids every search that is unreasonable," Go-Bart Importing Co. v. United States, 282 U.S. 344, 357, 51 S.Ct. 153, 158, 75 L.Ed. 374; the second places a number of specific constraints upon the issuance and character of warrants. It would be inappropriate and fruitless to undertake now to set the perimeters of "reasonableness" with respect to eavesdropping orders in general; any limitations, for example, necessary upon the period over which eavesdropping may be conducted, or upon the use of intercepted information unconnected with the offenses for which the eavesdropping order was first issued, should properly be developed only through a case-by-case examination of the pertinent questions. It suffices here to emphasize that, in my view, electronic eavesdropping, as such or as it is permitted by this statute, is not an unreasonable search and seizure.

At the least, reasonableness surely implies that this Court must not constrain in any grudging fashion the development of procedures, consistent with the Amendment's essential purposes, by which methods of search and seizure unknown in 1789 may be appropriately controlled. It is instead obliged to permit, and indeed ever to encourage, serious efforts to approach constructively the difficult problems created by electronic eavesdropping. In this situation, the Court should recognize and give weight to the State's careful efforts to restrict the excessive or unauthorized employment of these devices. New York has provided that no use may be made of eavesdropping devices without a prior court order, and that such an order is obtainable only upon the application of state prosecutorial authorities or of policemen of suitable seniority. N.Y.Code Crim.Proc. § 813-a. Eavesdropping conducted without an order is punishable by imprisonment for as much as two years. N.Y.Penal Law §§ 738, 740. Information obtained through impermissible eavesdropping may not be employed for any purpose in any civil or criminal action, proceeding, or hearing, except in the criminal prosecution of the unauthorized eavesdropper himself. N.Y.Civ.Prac. § 4506. These restrictions are calculated to prevent the "unbridled," [1] "unauthorized," [2] and "indiscriminate" [3] electronic searches and seizures which members of this Court have frequently condemned. Surely the State's efforts warrant at least a careful, and even sympathetic, examination of the fashion in which the state courts have construed these provisions, and in which they have applied them to the situation before us. I cannot, in any event, agree that the Fourth Amendment can properly be taken as a roadblock to the use, within appropriate limits, of law enforcement techniques necessary to keep abreast of modern-day criminal activity. The importance of these devices as a tool of effective law enforcement is impressively attested by the data marshalled in my Brother WHITE'S dissenting opinion. Post, p. 107.

I turn to what properly is the central issue in this case: the validity under the Warrants Clause of the Fourth Amendment of the eavesdropping order under which the recordings employed at petitioner's trial were obtained. It is essential first to set out certain of the pertinent facts.

The disputed recordings were made under the authority of a § 813-a order, dated June 12, 1962, permitting the installation of an eavesdropping device in the business office of one Harry Steinman; the order, in turn, was, so far as this record shows, issued solely upon the basis of information contained in affidavits submitted to the issuing judge by two assistant district attorneys. The first affidavit, signed by Assistant District Attorney Goldstein, indicated that the Rackets Bureau of the District Attorney's Office of New York County was then conducting an investigation of alleged corruption in the State Liquor Authority, and that the Bureau had received information that persons desiring to obtain or retain liquor licenses were obliged to pay large sums to officials of the Authority. It described the methods by which the bribe money was transmitted through certain attorneys to the officials. The affidavit asserted that one Harry Neyer, a former employee of the Authority, served as a "conduit." It indicated that evidence had been obtained "over a duly authorized eavesdropping device installed in the office of th a foresaid Harry Neyer," that conferences "relative to the payment of unlawful fees" occurred in Steinman's office. The number and street address of the office were provided. The affidavit specified that the "evidence indicates that the said Harry Steinman has agreed to pay, through the aforesaid Harry Neyer, $30,000" in order to secure a license for the Palladium Ballroom, an establishment within New York City. The Palladium, it was noted, had been the subject of hearings before the Authority "because of narcotic arrests therein." On the basis of this information, the affidavit sought an order to install a recording device in Steinman's business office.

The second affidavit, signed by Assistant District Attorney Scotti, averred that Scotti, as the Chief of the Bureau to which Goldstein was assigned, had read Goldstein's affidavit, and had concluded that the order might properly issue under § 813-a.

The order as issued permitted the recording of 'any and all conversations, communications and discussions' in Steinman's business office for a period of 60 days.

The central objections mounted to this order by petitioner, and repeated as to the statute itself by the Court, are three: first, that it fails to specify with adequate particularity the conversations to be seized; second, that it permits a general and indiscriminate search and seizure; and third, that the order was issued without a showing of probable cause. [4]

Each of the first two objections depends principally upon a problem of definition: the meaning in this context of the constitutional distinction between "search" and "seizure." If listening alone completes a "seizure," it would be virtually impossible for state authorities at a probable cause hearing to describe with particularity the seizures which would later be made during extended eavesdropping; correspondingly, seizures would unavoidably be made which lacked any sufficient nexus with the offenses for which the order was first issued. Cf. Kremen v. United States, 353 U.S. 346, 77 S.Ct. 828, 1 L.Ed.2d 876; Warden v. Hayden, 387 U.S. 294, 87 S.Ct. 1642, 18 L.Ed.2d 782. There is no need for present purposes to explore at length the question's subtleties; it suffices to indicate that, in my view, conversations are not "seized" either by eavesdropping alone, or by their recording so that they may later be heard at the eavesdropper's convenience. Just as some exercise of dominion, beyond mere perception, is necessary for the seizure of tangibles so some use of the conversation beyond the initial listening process is required for the seizure of the spoken word. Cf. Lopez v. United States, 373 U.S. 427, 459, 83 S.Ct. 1381, 1398, 10 L.Ed.2d 462 (dissenting opinion); United States v. On Lee, 2 Cir., 193 F.2d 306, 313-314 (dissenting opinion); District of Columbia v. Little, 85 U.S.App.D.C. 242, 247, 178 F.2d 13, 18, 13 A.L.R.2d 954, affirmed on other grounds, 339 U.S. 1, 70 S.Ct. 468, 94 L.Ed. 599. With this premise, I turn to these three objections.

The "particularity" demanded by the Fourth Amendment has never been thought by this Court to be reducible "to formula"; Oklahoma Press Pub. Co. v. Walling, 327 U.S. 186, 209, 66 S.Ct. 494, 506, 90 L.Ed. 614; it has instead been made plain that its measurement must take fully into account the character both of the materials to be seized and of the purposes of the seizures. Accordingly, where the materials "are books, and the basis or their seizure is the ideas which they contain," the most "scrupulous exactitude" is demanded in the warrant's description; Stanford v. State of Texas, 379 U.S. 476, 485, 85 S.Ct. 506, 511, 13 L.Ed.2d 431; see also Marcus v. Search Warrants, 367 U.S. 717, 81 S.Ct. 1708, 6 L.Ed.2d 1127; but where the special problems associated with the First Amendment are not involved, as they are not here, a more "reasonable particularity," Brown v. United States, 276 U.S. 134, 143, 48 S.Ct. 288, 290, 72 L.Ed. 500; Consolidated Rendering Co. v. State of Vermont, 207 U.S. 541, 554, 28 S.Ct. 178, 181, 52 L.Ed. 327, is permissible. The degree of particularity necessary is best measured by that requirement's purposes. The central purpose of the particularity requirement is to leave "nothing * * * to the discretion of the officer executing the warrant," Marron v. United States, 275 U.S. 192, 196, 48 S.Ct. 74, 76, 72 L.Ed. 231, by describing the materials to be seized with precision sufficient to prevent 'the seizure of one thing under a warrant describing another." Ibid. The state authorities are not compelled at the probable cause hearing to wager, upon penalty of a subsequent reversal, that they can successfully predict each of the characteristics of the materials which they will later seize, cf. Consolidated Rendering Co. v. State of Vermont, supra, 207 U.S. at 554, 28 S.Ct. at 181; such a demand would, by discouraging the use of the judicial process, defeat the Amendment's central purpose. United States v. Ventresca, 380 U.S. 102, 108, 85 S.Ct. 741, 745, 13 L.Ed.2d 684.

The materials to be seized are instead described with sufficient particularity if the warrant readily permits their identification both by those entrusted with the warrant's execution and by the court in any subsequent judicial proceeding. "It is," the Court has said with reference to the particularity of the place to be searched, "enough if the description is such that the officer * * * can, with reasonable effort ascertain and identify" the warrant's objects. Steele v. United States. No. 1, 267 U.S. 498, 503, 45 S.Ct. 414, 416, 69 L.Ed. 757.

These standards must be equally applicable to the seizure of words, and, under them, this order did not lack the requisite particularity. The order here permitted the interception, or search, of any and all conversations occurring within the order's time limitations at the specified location; but this direction must be read in light of the terms of the affidavits, which, under § 813, form part of the authority for the eavesdropping. The affidavits make plain that, among the intercepted conversations, the police were authorized to seize only those "relative to the payment of unlawful fees necessary to obtain liquor licenses." These directions sufficed to provide a standard which left nothing in the choice of materials to be seized to the "whim," Stanford v. State of Texas, supra, 379 U.S. at 485, 85 S.Ct., at 512, of the state authorities. There could be no difficulty, either in the course of the search or in any subsequent judicial proceeding, in determining whether specific conversations were among those authorized for seizure by the order. The Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments do not demand more. Compare Kamisar, The Wiretapping-Eavesdropping Problem: A Professor's View, 44 Minn.L.Rev. 891, 913.

Nor was the order invalid because it permitted the search of any and all conversations occurring at the specified location; if the requisite papers have identified the materials to be seized with sufficient particularity, as they did here, and if the search was confined to an appropriate area, the order is not invalidated by the examination of all within that area reasonably necessary for discovery of the materials to be seized. I do not doubt that searches by eavesdrop must be confined in time precisely as the search for tangibles is confined in space, but the actual duration of the intrusion here, or for that matter the total period authorize b y the order, was not, given the character of the offenses involved, excessive. All the disputed evidence was obtained within 13 days, scarcely unreasonable in light of an alleged conspiracy involving many individuals and a lengthy series of transactions.

The question therefore remains only whether, as petitioner suggests, the order was issued without an adequate showing of probable cause. The standards for the measurement of probable cause have often been explicated in the opinions of this Court; see, e.g., United States v. Ventresca, 380 U.S. 102, 85 S.Ct. 741, 13 L.Ed.2d 684, it suffices now simply to emphasize that the information presented to the magistrate or commissioner must permit him to 'judge for himself the persuasiveness of the facts relied on by a complaining officer.' Giordenello v. United States, 357 U.S. 480, 486, 78 S.Ct. 1245, 1250, 2 L.Ed.2d 1503. The magistrate must "assess independently the probability" that the facts are as the complainant has alleged; id., at 487, 78 S.Ct., at 1250; he may not "accept without question the complainant's mere conclusion." Id., at 486, 78 S.Ct., at 1250.

As measured by the terms of the affidavits here, the issuing judge could properly have concluded that probable cause existed for the order. Unlike the situations in Nathanson v. United States, 290 U.S. 41, 54 S.Ct. 11, 78 L.Ed. 159, and Giordenello v. United States, supra, the judge was provided the evidence which supported the affiants' conclusions; he was not compelled to rely merely on their "affirmation of suspicion and belief," Nathanson v. United States, supra, 290 U.S., at 46, 54 S.Ct., at 13. Compare Rugendorf v. United States, 376 U.S. 528, 84 S.Ct. 825, 11 L.Ed.2d 887; Aguilar v. State of Texas, 378 U.S. 108, 84 S.Ct. 1509, 12 L.Ed.2d 723. In my opinion, taking the Steinman affidavits on their face, the constitutional requirements of probable cause were fully satisfied.

It is, however, plain that the Steinman order was issued principally upon the basis of evidence obtained under the authority of the Neyer order; absent the Neyer eavesdropped evidence, the Steinman affidavits consist entirely of conclusory assertions, and they would, in my judgment, be insufficient. It is, therefore, also necessary to examine the Neyer order.

The threshold issue is whether petitioner has standing to challenge the validity under the Constitution of the Neyer order. Standing to challenge the constitutional validity of a search and seizure has been an issue of some difficulty and uncertainty; [5] it has, nevertheless, hitherto been thought to hinge, not upon the use against the challenging party of evidence seized during the search, but instead upon whether the privacy of the challenging party's premises or person has been invaded. Jones v. United States, 362 U.S. 257, 80 S.Ct. 725, 4 L.Ed.2d 697; Wong Sun v. United States, 371 U.S. 471, 83 S.Ct. 407, 9 L.Ed.2d 441. These cases centered upon searches conducted by federal authorities and challenged under Fed.Rule Crim.Proc. 41(e), but there is no reason now to suppose that any different standard is required by the Fourteenth Amendment for searches conducted by state officials. See generally Maguire, Evidence of Guilt 215-216 (1959).

The record before us does not indicate with precision what information was obtained under the Neyer order, but it appears, and petitioner does not otherwise assert, that petitioner was never present in Neyer's office during the period in which eavesdropping was conducted. There is, moreover, no suggestion that petitioner had any property interest in the premises in which the eavesdropping device was installed. Apart from the use of evidence obtin ed under the Neyer order to justify issuance of the Steinman order, under which petitioner's privacy was assuredly invaded, petitioner is linked with activities under the Neyer order only by one fleeting and ambiguous reference in the record.

In a pretrial hearing conducted on a motion to suppress the Steinman recordings, counsel for the State briefly described the materials obtained under the Neyer order. Counsel indicated that

"Mr. Neyer then has conversations with Mr. Steinman and other persons. In the course of some of these conversations, we have one-half of a telephone call, of several telephone calls between Mr. Neyer and a person he refers to on the telephone as Mr. Berger; and in the conversation with Mr. Berger Mr. Neyer discusses also the obtaining of a liquor license for the Palladium and mentions the fact that this is going to be a big one." Counsel for petitioner responded, shortly after, that 'I take it * * * that none of the subject matter to which (counsel for the State) has just adverted is any part of this case * * *.' Counsel for the State responded:

"That's right, your Honor. I am not-I think evidence can be brought out during the trial that Berger, who Mr. Steinman, Mr. Neyer speaks to concerning the Palladium, is, in fact, the defendant Ralph Berger."

However oblique this invasion of petitioner's personal privacy might at first seem, it would entirely suffice, in my view, to afford petitioner standing to challenge the validity of the Neyer order. It is surely without significance in these circumstances that petitioner did not conduct the conversation from a position physically within the room in which the device was placed; the fortuitousness of his location can matter no more than if he had been present for a conference in Neyer's office, but had not spoken, or had been seated beyond the limits of the device's hearing. The central question should properly be whether his privacy has been violated by the search; it is enough for this purpose that he participated in a discussion into which the recording intruded. Standing should not, in any event, be made an insuperable barrier which unnecessarily deprives of an adequate remedy those whose rights have been abridged; to impose distinctions of excessive refinement upon the doctrine "would not comport with our justly proud claim of the procedural protections accorded to those charged with crime." Jones v. United States, supra, 362 U.S., at 267, 80 S.Ct., at 734. It would instead "permit a quibbling distinction to overturn a principle which was designed to protect a fundamental right." United States v. Jeffers, 342 U.S. 48, 52, 72 S.Ct. 93, 95, 96 L.Ed. 59. I would conclude that, under the circumstances here, the recording of a portion of a telephone conversation to which petitioner was party would suffice to give him standing to challenge the validity under the Constitution of the Neyer order. [6]

Given petitioner's standing under federal law to challenge the validity of the Neyer order, I would conclude that such order was issued without an adequate showing of probable cause. It seems quite plain, from the facts described by the State, that at the moment the Neyer order was sought the Rackets Bureau indeed had ample information to justify the issuance of an eavesdropping order. Nonetheless, the affidavits presented at the Neyer hearing unaccountably contained only the most conclusory allegations of suspicion. The record before us is silent on whether additional information might have been orally presented to the issuing judge. [7] Under thse circumstances, I am impelled to the view that the judge lacked sufficient information to permit him to assess the circumstances as a "neutral and detached magistrate," Johnson v. United States, 333 U.S. 10, 14, 68 S.Ct. 367, 369, 92 L.Ed. 436, and accordingly that the Neyer order was impermissible.

It does not follow, however, that evidence obtained under the Neyer order could not properly have been employed to support issuance of the Steinman order. The basic question here is the scope of the exclusionary rule fashioned in Weeks v. United States, 232 U.S. 383, 34 S.Ct. 341, 58 L.Ed. 652, and made applicable to state proceedings in Mapp v. Ohio, 367 U.S. 643, 81 S.Ct. 1684, 6 L.Ed.2d 1081. The Court determined in Weeks that the purposes of the Fourth Amendment could be fully vindicated only if materials seized in violation of its requirements were excluded from subsequent use against parties aggrieved by the seizure. Despite broader statements in certain of the cases, see, e.g., Silverthorne Lumber Co. v. United States, 251 U.S. 385, 392, 40 S.Ct. 182, 183, 64 L.Ed. 319, the situations for which the Weeks rule was devised, and to which it has since been applied, have uniformly involved misconduct by police or prosecutorial authorities. The rule's purposes have thus been said to be both to discourage "disobedience to the Federal Constitution," Mapp v. Ohio, supra, 367 U.S., at 657, 81 S.Ct., at 1693, and to avoid any possibility that the courts themselves might be "accomplices in the willful disobedience of a Constitution they are sworn to uphold." Elkins v. United States, 364 U.S. 206, 223, 80 S.Ct. 1437, 1447, 4 L.Ed.2d 1669. The Court has cautioned that the exclusionary rule was not intended to establish supervisory jurisdiction over the administration of state criminal justice, and that the States might still fashion "workable rules governing arrests, searches and seizures." Ker v. State of California, 374 U.S. 23, 34, 83 S.Ct. 1623, 1630, 10 L.Ed.2d 726.

I find nothing in the terms or purposes of the rule which demands the invalidation, under the circumstances at issue here, of the Steinman order. The state authorities appeared, as the statute requires, before a judicial official, and held themselves ready to provide information to justify the issuance of an eavesdropping order. The necessary evidence was at hand, and there was apparently no reason for the State to have preferred that it not be given to the issuing judge. The Neyer order is thus invalid simply as a consequence of the judge's willingness to act upon substantially less information than the Fourteenth Amendment obliged him to demand; correspondingly, the only "misconduct" that could be charged against the prosecution consists entirely of its failure to press additional evidence upon him. If the exclusionary rule were to be applied in this and similar situations, praiseworthy efforts of law enforcement authorities would be seriously, and quite unnecessarily, hampered; the evidence lawfully obtained under a lengthy series of valid warrants might, for example, be lost by the haste of a single magistrate. The rule applied in that manner would not encourage police officers to adhere to the requirements of the Constitution; it would simply deprive the State of evidence it has sought in accordance with those requirements.

I would hold that where, as here, authorities have obtained a warrant in a judicial proceeding untainted by fraud, a second warrant issued on the authority of evidence gathered under the first is not invalidated by a subsequent finding tht the first was issued without a showing of probable cause.

It follows that the Steinman order was, as a matter of constitutional requirement, validly issued, that the recordings obtained under it were properly admitted at petitioner's trial, and, accordingly, that his conviction must be affirmed. [8]

Notes[edit]

^1  Hoffa v. United States, 385 U.S. 293, 317, 87 S.Ct. 408, 421, 17 L.Ed.2d 374 (dissenting opinion).

^2  Silverman v. United States, 365 U.S. 505, 510, 81 S.Ct. 679, 682, 5 L.Ed.2d 734.

^3  Lopez v. United States, 373 U.S. 427, 441, 83 S.Ct. 1381, 1389, 10 L.Ed.2d 462 (opinion concurring in result).

^4  Two of petitioner's other contentions are plainly foreclosed by recent opinions of this Court. His contention that eavesdropping unavoidably infringes the rule forbidding the seizure of "mere evidence" is precluded by Warden v. Hayden, 387 U.S. 294, 87 S.Ct. 1642, 18 L.Ed.2d 782. His contention that eavesdropping violates his constitutional privilege against self-incrimination is answered by Osborn v. United States, 385 U.S. 323, 87 S.Ct. 429, 17 L.Ed.2d 394, and Hoffa v. United States, 385 U.S. 293, 87 S.Ct. 408, 17 L.Ed.2d 374.

^5  See, e. g., Edwards, Standing to Suppress Unreasonably Seized Evidence, 47 Nw.U.L.Rev. 471; Comment, Standing to Object to an Unreasonable Search and Seizure, 34 U.Chi.L.Rev. 342; Recent Development, Search and Seizure: Admissibility of Illegally Acquired Evidence Against Third Parties, 66 Col.L.Rev. 400.

^6  While on this record it cannot be said with entire assurance that the "Berger" mentioned in the Neyer eavesdropped conversation was this petitioner, I think it proper to proceed at this juncture on the basis that such is the case, leaving whatever questions of identity there may be to such state proceedings as, on the premises of this opinion, might subsequently eventuate in the state courts. See n. 8, infra.

^7  The only additional reference in the record possibly pertinent to the content of the Neyer hearing is a conclusory assertion by counsel for the State in argument on the motion to suppress that the State had shown its evidence to the issuing judge. The reference is obscure, but its context suggests strongly that counsel meant only that the Steinman affidavits were adequate for purposes of probable cause.

^8  Whether N.Y.Civ.Prac. § 4506, as amended to take effect July 1, 1962, some 18 days after the issuance of the Steinman order, would be deemed, under the premises of this opinion, to render inadmissible at Berger's trial the evidence procured under it, is a matter for the state courts to decide. See People v. Cohen, 42 Misc.2d 403, 408, 409, 248 N.Y.S.2d 339, 344, 345; People v. Beshany, 43 Misc.2d 521, 532, 252 N.Y.S.2d 110, 121. Further state proceedings on that score would of course not be foreclosed under a disposition in accordance with this opinion.

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).