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Michael T. Brody, co-chair of Jenner & Block. Michael T. Brody, co-chair of Jenner & Block.

7th Circuit SpotlightIn a well-known search and seizure case, Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968), the U.S. Supreme Court held that a police officer could conduct a “brief investigatory stop” based on reasonable suspicion and, in conjunction with that stop, pat down the target for weapons. In Terry, the police officer “had become thoroughly suspicious” based upon his observation of two men engaged in “elaborately casual and often repeated reconnaissance,” which appeared to him to be efforts of “casing a job, a stickup.” “Reasonable suspicion” requires more than an “inarticulate hunch,” but Terry permitted this limited intrusion based on a lower threshold than the showing of probable cause required to obtain a search warrant. In four recent cases, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has explored the outer limits of the Terry doctrine.

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