4 Ways the Fourth Amendment's Already Being Pummeled in a Non-Top Secret Way

The government will always insist it's acting within the law.

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2. What’s unreasonable may not be what you expect.

not just because roadz?ZanePaul Photos/Foter.comThough the Fourth Amendment prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures, evidence obtained through such means weren’t excluded from admissibility in court until a 1921 Supreme Court case, Weeks vs. United States. The Court prohibited federal authorities from using such evidence provided by state or federal agents, and it only extended this exclusionary rule to police at the state and local level in 1961. Until then, though unreasonable searches and seizures were considered unconstitutional, they could still land you in jail.

In 1967, the Supreme Court defined an “unreasonable” search as one that violates the individual’s reasonable expectation of privacy. Since then, the authorities have whittled away at those expectations. When two Kentucky cops ignored a “No Trespassing” sign to enter a man’s property and walk a mile down a road to find a crop of marijuana plants in the 1980s, for example, the Supreme Court ruled that the defendant didn’t have a reasonable expectation of privacy in what amounted to an “open field,” despite the No Trespassing sign. And in the last quarter century, the Court has applied Fourth Amendment exceptions to sobriety checkpoints and to police checkpoints set up to solicit information for an investigation.

NEXT: Your DNA's fair game for the long arms of the law

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  • AlgerHiss||

    This piece is quite dead on: The fourth amendment is barely alive. US civilian peace keeping hopes and prays the sheeple remain ignorant of a few simple words:

    Am I being detained?

    Am I free to go?

    No, I do not consent to any search of any kind.

  • Almanian!||


    Best pic in a long time. Alt Text to match. #WINNING

  • John Galt||

    Seizing our liberties isn't something the despots who rule over us could ever pull off in a day, they do it a piece here and a bit there. The end result is the same.

  • Bucky||

    and byte by byte...

  • MoMark||

    When listening to Obama & Clapper today, I suddenly had this feeling this entire country has fallen down a rabbit hole… and I might be having an acid flashback!

  • GroundTruth||

    With the greater part of the population ignorant of history and the basis of their own government, and more interested in the latest winner of "the Voice", and preoccupied with their own comfort, we who see the problem must be ever more clear, outspoken and forceful.

  • Bucky||

    ask a teen near you who were the
    brown shirts,(tell them first they're
    not a new band)...

  • LexLibertatis||

    They don't collect DNA when they detain you. Even in Maryland, DNA was only collected for serious offenders and after arraignment. The Court suggested it might be a problem to collect for all arrestees. It is still concerning, of course, but the tagline misleads.


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