THIRD AND FOURTH AMENDMENTS
What was the purpose of the Third Amendment?
The Third Amendment arose out of the special conditions of the Revolutionary-War era when the government sometimes sought to require colonists to house British troops in their private homes. The amendment does not have much practical usage today, as the military has its own bases and quarters.
What is the Fourth Amendment?
The Fourth Amendment is the amendment that provides us with protection from "unreasonable searches and seizures" by law enforcement officials. It provides: "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."
What is the fundamental purpose of the Fourth Amendment?
The Fourth Amendment serves to protect individuals from invasive searches and seizures conducted by government officials. The Framers worried that government officials could abuse individual liberty by engaging in roving, fishing-expedition searches pursuant to general warrants. The Fourth Amendment generally requires a law enforcement agent to have a warrant backed up by probable cause before being able to search a person and his or her belongings.
What is the meaning of probable cause?
The U.S. Supreme Court defined probable cause in Brinegar v. United States (1949) as: "a reasonable ground for belief of guilt . where the facts and circumstances within their [the officers'] knowledge and of which they had reasonably trustworthy information [are] sufficient in themselves to warrant a man of reasonable caution in the belief that an offense has been or is being committed."
Must government officials always obtain a warrant before conducting a search or a seizure?
No, there are several exceptions to the warrant requirement. Some of these include: searches of public school students, exigent circumstances, hot pursuit, plain view, plain feel, consent searches (where an individual has given consent to a government
LegalSpeak: Redding v. Sanford Unified School District (2009)
Justice David Souter (majority): "Savana's subjective expectation of privacy against such a search is inherent in her account of it as embarrassing, frightening, and humiliating. The reasonableness of her expectation (required by the Fourth Amendment standard) is indicated by the consistent experiences of other young people similarly searched, whose adolescent vulnerability intensifies the patent intrusiveness of the exposure.. In sum, what was missing from the suspected facts that pointed to Savana was any indication of danger to the students from the power of the drugs or their quantity, and any reason to suppose that Savana was carrying pills in her underwear. We think that the combination of these deficiencies was fatal to finding the search reasonable."
Justice John Paul Stevens (concurring in part, dissenting in part): "I disagree with its decision to extend qualified immunity to the school official who authorized this unconstitutional search."
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (concurring in part, dissenting in part): "The Court's opinion in T.L.O. plainly stated the controlling Fourth Amendment law: A search ordered by a school official, even if 'justified at its inception,' crosses the constitutional boundary if it becomes 'excessively intrusive in light of the age and sex of the student and the nature of the infraction.'"
Justice Clarence Thomas (concurring in part, dissenting in part): "Unlike the majority, however, I would hold that the search of Savana Redding did not violate the Fourth Amendment. The majority imposes a vague and amorphous standard on school administrators. It also grants judges sweeping authority to second-guess the measures that these officials take to maintain discipline in their schools and ensure the health and safety of the students in their charge. This deep intrusion into the administration of public schools exemplifies why the Court should return to the common-law doctrine of in loco parentis under which 'the judiciary was reluctant to interfere in the routine business of school administration, allowing schools and teachers to set and enforce rules and to maintain order.'"
official to search), search incident to arrest, automobile exception, border-search exception, open fields, and stop and frisk.