It is the recommendation of this author that rights established in the Fourth Amendment be interpreted broadly. While this author recognizes the need for National Security, this author also realizes the dangers of ceding one’s rights to government power.
It seems clear to this author that while the main intent of the Framers was to prevent government from performing abusive searches and seizure of a person’s home and belongs in the name of tax collection, the Framers also intended the Fourth Amendment to prevent all forms of search and seizure, reasonable or not, without a proper warrant.
The warrant system is one of the many checks and balances employed by this great nation to ensure that no one person or organization has all the power. To allow the Government to suspend or eliminate the parts of the Fourth Amendment at will is no different from reinstating general warrants or writs of assistance.
To allow the United States to realize a time of general warrants or writs of assistance would be catastrophic and could lead to civil unrest.
In 1763, during a debate over a cider tax and its enforcement requirements that would have allowed a liberal search provision, William Pitt remarked, “The poorest man may in his cottage bid defiance to all the forces of the Crown. It may be frail – its roof may shake – the wind may blow through it – the storm may enter – the rain may enter – but the King of England cannot enter; all his force dares not cross the threshold of the ruined tenement!”1
The King is not above the law.
The President is not above the law.
The Constitution shall protect us.
Special thanks to those who edited it:
- Kim Russell
- Corinne Johnson
- Joyce Raveling
Cohen, William and Danelski, David J. Constitutional Law: Civil Liberty and Individual Rights. New York : Foundation Press, 2002. 1-58778-075-5. p. 775 ↩