The Law: Eavesdropping Legislation: Down-- but Not Out?

Is bugging constitutional? The question is so complex that the nine Supreme Court Justices last week delivered no fewer than six different opinions on the subject. In the end, the answer seemed to be that it is probably constitutional in theory, but perhaps constitutionally impossible in practice.

A concealed recording device authorized under New York's nine-year-old eavesdrop law had overheard Ralph Berger discussing his part in a bribery scandal that rocked the state's liquor authority four years ago. The question was whether or not the eavesdrop evidence was admissible against him. When the...

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