Notes on Borrowing and Convergence

Document Type


Publication Date

January 2011


This is a response to Jennifer E. Laurin, "Trawling for Herring: Lessons in Doctrinal Borrowing and Convergence," 111 Colum. L. Rev. 670 (2011), which analyzes the Supreme Court's resort to tort-based concepts to limit the reach of the Fourth Amendment's exclusionary rule. We press three points. First, there are differences between a general and specific critique of constitutional borrowing. Second, the idea of convergence as a distinct phenomenon from borrowing has explanatory potential and should be further explored. Third, to the extent convergence occurs, it matters whether concerns of judicial administration or political reconstruction are driving doctrinal changes.