This Note will discuss the legal development of the "plain feel" exception to the Fourth Amendment. It will reveal how the Supreme Court in Dickerson used a combination of the Terry cursory, "pat down" exception to the Fourth Amendment and the "plain view" doctrine to justify a warrantless search and seizure. It will examine the extent to which police officers may manipulate lawful powers without overstepping the Amendment's safeguards. Finally, this Note will describe how Dickerson's "plain feel" exception weakens Fourth Amendment guarantees and concludes it could lead to an unwarranted invasion of the public's right to be secure in their person.
Nicole J. Lehmann, The "Plain Feel" Exception in Minnesota v. Dickerson: A Further Erosion of the Fourth Amendment, 16 Campbell L. Rev. 257 (1994).