A law review title pun that has run its course

May 6, 2014

I’m not a fan of using puns in the titles of law review articles.  But many authors writing about Fourth Amendment law seem unable to resist the lure of feline puns enabled by the Supreme Court’s seminal decision in Katz v. United States (1967). Here are examples of titles published just in the last two years, most (but not all) of which are from student notes:

  • Is The Court Allergic To Katz? Problems Posed By New Methods Of Electronic Surveillance To The “Reasonable-Expectation-Of-Privacy” Test
  • Florida v. Jardines: Dogs, Katz, Trespass And The Fourth Amendment
  • Katz On A Hot Tin Roof–Saving The Fourth Amendment From Commercial Conditioning By Reviving Voluntariness In Disclosures To Third Parties
  • It’s Raining Katz And Jones: The Implications Of United States v. Jones–A Case Of Sound And Fury
  • Herding Katz: GPS Tracking And Society’s Expectations Of Privacy In The 21st Century
  • United States v. Jones: Does Katz Still Have Nine Lives?
  • Katz Cradle: Holding On To Fourth Amendment Parity In An Age Of Evolving Electronic Communication

Readers are invited to think of more cat-themed titles for future Fourth Amendment scholarship, at least if any remain unused.  Leave your suggestions in the comment thread.  Meanwhile, authors might want to avoid this particular pun in light of its overuse.  Or better yet, avoid title puns entirely.

 

Orin Kerr is the Fred C. Stevenson Research Professor at The George Washington University Law School, where he has taught since 2001. He teaches and writes in the area of criminal procedure and computer crime law.
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