The Fourth Amendment is about privacy not property Stahlman 2002 Matters of

The fourth amendment is about privacy not property

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“The Fourth Amendment is about privacy, not property,” (Stahlman, 2002). Matters of privacy are uncontroversial in identifying when the search is conducted and whose interests it violates. According to Lawrence-Hurt (2010), the Fourth Amendment entails the security of individuals, their houses, protection against unlawful seizures and searches, and that warrants must be specific describing the place to be searched, the person and things to be seized. These were called the Bill of Rights, which include ten original amendments made in December 1791. They reflected the hesitancy of the citizens to improve the state’s constitution with no clause allowing certain actions by the federal government and its stakeholders. These amendments were made to protect the natives from the British soldiers. The soldiers violently entered the home of the colonists and seized whatever they wanted without any warrant. These laws and the kind of protection they offer to the citizenry has been a point of discussion, the US Supreme Court expanding, contracting and redefining them for over two hundred years. Taslitz (2006) sees the need to regulate the amount of force the state uses on the people and tamed by the people and the organizations representing the people. The state should be ready to serve the common good, not factions. This could be achieved by citizens guided by virtue shaping a nation led by virtues and vice versa. The people should be part of a deliberative dialogue over the shape of the citizens and the state by willingly invoking their rights. In the 1980s the US Supreme Court had curbed warrantless searches. The terrorist
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THE EVOLUTION OF SEARCH AND SEIZURE 5 attacks on the World Trade Centre, however, increased warrantless searches and seizures upheld by the courts. Since the attack, the Supreme Court adopted the general reasonableness analysis leaving behind the narrowly tailored tests and factors. The courts’ concern was now not privacy but the influence on law enforcement agencies and national security by search and seizure cases under consideration. Courts argued that terrorists would remain undetected as they were protected from search and seizure by law. Unlike other searches and seizure laws, the special needs doctrine is not aimed at getting criminal evidence but serves other important governmental functions such as protecting the learning environments in public schools (Heder, 2000). The Special Needs test limits the intrusion to personal privacy promoting legitimate governmental interests provided by the search. According to Justice Harry Blackmunn, the special need test allowed officers to search a closed suitcase on reasonable suspicion in attempt to uncover illicit drug carriers.
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  • Winter '15
  • Law, Supreme Court of the United States, US Supreme Court

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