An article by Professor Renée Hutchins was cited by and played a crucial role in the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ August 6 ruling in U.S. v. Maynard. In differentiating Global Positioning System (GPS) devices from beepers that the Supreme Court ruled could be placed in a suspect’s car without a search warrant (U.S. v. Knotts, 460 U.S. 276 (1983)), the Court endorsed Professor Hutchins’s important scholarly analysis.
In ruling that the police violated a suspect's fourth amendment rights by installing a GPS device in his car for four weeks, Justice Douglas Ginsburg's unanimous opinion quoted the central contention of Professor Hutchins’s paper, "Tied Up in 'Knotts'? GPS Technology and the Fourth Amendment," 55 UCLA Law Review 409 (2007). "According to the Supreme Court," the cited passage from that article declared, "its decision [in Knotts] should not be read to sanction 'twenty-four hour surveillance of any citizen of this country." The Maynard opinion later cited Professor Hutchins a second time on the precise technology used by GPS devices.
"This is scholarship that makes a difference, and another example of the influence of our faculty in helping shape and improve law," said Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development Mark Graber.
Professor Hutchins brings a variety of legal experiences to the classroom, having served as a federal prosecutor with the Tax Division of the United States Department of Justice and as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney in the District of Columbia. Professor Hutchins also practiced as a criminal defense attorney with the Southern Center for Human Rights in Atlanta and for the Office of the Appellate Defender in New York City. Professor Hutchins received her J.D. from Yale Law School in 1993, and her B.A., cum laude, in mathematics from Spelman College in 1990. Following graduation from law school, she served as a law clerk to Judge Nathaniel R. Jones on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.