Scott v. Harris
This Fourth Amendment activity is based on the landmark Supreme Court case Scott v. Harris dealing with unreasonable seizure in the context of a police chase. Using these talking points to start the discussion, argue your position in answer to the question: Did police violate the Fourth Amendment protection from unreasonable seizure during a high-speed chase that ended with a car crash leaving the 19-year-old driver paralyzed?
This activity explores unreasonable seizure during a high-speed chase by examining the Supreme Court case Scott v. Harris, 550 U.S. ___ (2007). Participants will answer the question: Did law enforcement violate the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable seizure during a high-speed chase that ended with a car crash that left the 19-year-old driver paralyzed?
About these Resources
- Analyze the facts and case summary for Scott v. Harris.
- Build arguments for both sides, starting with these talking points.
- Use critical thinking skills and share reflections on the discussion questions.
How to Use These Resources
This activity is a modified Oxford style debate.
- To get started, have participants read the Scott v. Harris facts and case summary.
- Assign student attorneys to the issues listed in the talking points. They are suggested points– not a script–for the debate. Student attorneys are encouraged to add their own arguments.
- All other students are jurors who deliberate (and may refer to these talking points) during the open floor debate. They debate among themselves in the large group or smaller groups and come to a verdict after the attorneys present closing arguments.