(Episode 18) Unwarranted: The Fourth Amendment (Part 1 of 2)

We talk a lot on this podcast about how history, law, and society often swing in a pendulum from one extreme to the other. That's a good way to think about the transition from our discussion of the Third Amendment (where there's virtually no case law) to our discussions of the Fourth Amendment (which has an enormous amount of case law): we're headed to the opposite extreme.

In this most recent episode, we deal with the first part of the Fourth Amendment, which reads: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated . . ."

The Fourth Amendment limits the power of the government to seize and search people, their property, and their homes. While it's true that the Fourth Amendment is one of the places where SCOTUS says your right to privacy comes from, it's bigger than just privacy - it's the right of the people to be secure.

But what exactly are people secure from? When can police stop and frisk you? What constitutes a "search?" When exactly are you and your stuff "seized?" And what makes either of these things "unreasonable?" And how does that change given modern technology (which the Founders couldn't have imagined)? These are tough questions to which entire courses and careers are dedicated, but we'll do our best to cover some of the answers in this week's episode. Plus, we'll discuss the great philosopher, Jay-Z.

Some other sources we used:
-Terry v. Ohio oral argument transcript;
-More regarding "stop and frisk:" A Few Blocks, 4 Years, 52,000 Police Stops and Michael Bloomberg's 'stop-and-frisk' violates the Fourth Amendment;
-How the exclusionary rule and fruit of the poisonous tree operate;
-Some to-the-point examples from yet more case law.