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Testimony on Unmanned Aircraft Systems Rules and Regulations
Oklahoma State Capitol (2016)
  • Stephen E Henderson
Chairman Barrington, Vice Chair Brooks, members of the Committee on Public Safety, Senators, and distinguished guests, I am grateful for the opportunity to speak to you today about unmanned aerial systems, or drones, and more particularly about their federal constitutional implications and what might be the constitutional restrictions on any legislation you might like to enact. I am the Judge Haskell A. Holloman Professor of Law at the University of Oklahoma, where my teaching and research focus on criminal law and procedure and privacy, including the constitutional rights pertaining thereto.

My topic is not an easy one. The constitutional law is partially in flux and otherwise uncertain, and the technology is novel. This much you probably already know. Three colleagues and I last year published an article on these topics, Regulating Drones Under the First and Fourth Amendments, which is available online for reference. It, however, is a dense ninety four pages in length, and even then cannot get to the level of concrete guidance I hope to give today. So, I will do my best to make a very complex set of topics manageable and helpful, without sacrificing so much that they become meaningless. Ultimately, there is sufficient uncertainty that you could, with fealty to the federal constitutional rights of Americans, legislate a great many restrictions that may or may not ultimately stand up in the courts. We just cannot be certain. But hopefully I can at least provide a sense of the directions in which those rights push, why they do so, and the tradeoffs different legislative choices would make...
  • drone,
  • uas,
  • uav,
  • privacy,
  • first amendment,
  • free speech,
  • fourth amendment,
  • search
Publication Date
September 28, 2016
Citation Information
Stephen E Henderson. "Testimony on Unmanned Aircraft Systems Rules and Regulations" Oklahoma State Capitol (2016)
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