The Fourth Amendment – The Story of the Bill of Rights
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The Fourth Amendment – The Story of the Bill of Rights

September 12, 2019

The Fourth Amendment: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. There is a provision in the Fourth Amendment to protect all of us from the government coming in, invading our privacy, looking through our things, finding evidence that might be used against us to convict us of crimes and so forth. So, the colonials put in the Fourth Amendment the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. Now we have come to understand that an unreasonable search and seizure is something that is done without a warrant. And so they wrote it and you’ll notice the word “unreasonable” in there. The word “unreasonable” is not in the First Amendment. The First Amendment doesn’t say Congress shall pass no law with respect to unreasonable publication by the press. But in the Fourth Amendment, it says no unreasonable searches and seizures, and that meant, and the courts have said this, that our courts would become involved in the process of deciding what sort of search is reasonable and what not.

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