Xavier Cortada, “Florida v. Jardines,” oil on canvas, 48″ x 36″, 2017

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Chapter 13: Florida v. Jardines

The Distortions of Implied Artistic License

Florida v. Jardines, 569 U.S. 1 (2013)


This Chapter explores Fourth Amendment law and history through the lens of Xavier Cortada’s painting inspired by Florida v. Jardines. At its core, Jardines is a case about the future of Fourth Amendment interpretation and how different doctrinal theories should best protect an individual’s home from unreasonable searches and seizures. Written by Justice Antonin Scalia with his characteristic irreverence, flair, and self-confidence, Jardines is a case about fundamental questions of privacy and security that turns on the constitutional significance of a police dog sniffing outside your home.


“Cortada’s use of color and structure mirrors this chaotic Fourth Amendment reality. We see a painting born of real life, not realism. We see colors as scents. We see vibrant confusion. We see a distorted frame that tells a story but remains unclear. And this distortion is a perfect representation of the state of the Fourth Amendment leading up to Jardines.”


Andrew Guthrie Ferguson is Professor of Law at Washington College of Law, American University. He hold an LL.M. from Georgetown University and a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of Why Jury Duty Matters: A Citizen’s Guide to Constitutional Action (2012).

ABOUT The Artist

Xavier Cortada is Professor of Practice at the University of Miami Department of Art and Art History. He grew up in Miami and holds degrees from the University of Miami College of Arts and Sciences, School of Law, and Graduate School of Business. His work merges art with other disciplines, including law, science, and politics.