Current Fourth Amendment Jurisprudence Essay

Current Fourth Amendment Jurisprudence Essay

Length: 1599 words (4.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was drafted by the Framers to protect the right to be free from governmental intrusion. Without a warrant and probable cause, an officer may not enter a home and search it. The use of GPS technology, however, enables the government to collect the same information without ever leaving the office. Thus, GPS based surveillance presents the issue of what protection the Fourth Amendment offers.
Current Fourth Amendment jurisprudence offers little protection from warrantless surveillance. Under current precedent, the whole issue of monitoring turns on whether the surveillance is done in a private or public place. Thus, the Supreme Court has held that warrantless beeper monitoring is permissible on a public highway, but not inside a private residence.
This note will examine a related issue decided in United States v. Maynard. In Maynard, police placed a GPS device on the defendant’s jeep and used it to track his movements for 28 days. After departing from established precedent, the court held that police violated the suspect’s Fourth Amendment rights. The D.C. Circuit’s holding is questionable because it misconstrues existing Fourth Amendment precedent and replaces it with an unworkable constitutional standard.
The Fourth Amendment protects against unreasonable searches and seizures and imposes both a particularity and probable cause requirement for issuing warrants. Warrantless searches are presumptively unreasonable, subject only to a few limited exceptions. In the context of surveillance, the threshold issue is whether a search has occurred.
A precise definition for the term “search” does not exist under current feder...

... middle of paper ...

...ish uniform surveillance tactics. Moreover, the prolonged use of visual surveillance and government informants are called into question. Unfortunately, the only clarity present in the new standard is that monitoring a suspect on a single trip is constitutional.
Advances in technology presents a court with the difficult task of having to balance between privacy and security concerns. Existing Fourth Amendment jurisprudence, however, provides needed guidance. Instead of ignoring the existing framework, Judge Ginsburg should have consulted its guidance to deal with the issues posed by GPS monitoring. Certainly, existing Fourth Amendment precedent presents a better solution than creating an entirely new constitutional standard. By creating such a standard, Judge Ginsburg reduced the clarity that police officers need to investigate crimes.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Will We Follow Lincoln's Advice? The Fourth Amendment Essay

- “Don't interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties.” Abraham Lincoln made this statement in referring to the emancipation of the slaves. Even though the statement has nothing to deal with the Fourth Amendment, or the Search and Seizure laws within the Constitution, what is stated still brings about a good point relating to the Constitution. The fact being brought out of this quote is that the Constitution’s purpose is to safeguard Americans’ liberties....   [tags: Fourth Amendment, Abraham Lincoln, presidents, con]

Powerful Essays
1363 words (3.9 pages)

The Codification of the Fourth Amendment Essay

- The most difficult problem that arises for the courts because of technology is the codification of the Fourth Amendment to apply to technological change and progress. The vast changes technology brings to surveillance, security, and data collection offer a challenge to courts in classifying these new technologies and monitoring their use within the limits of the Fourth Amendment. The Fourth Amendment states that people have the right to be “secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.” An influential dissent written by Louis Brandeis contends that the amendment does not simply protect a person’s property but the “right to be let alone.”...   [tags: technologicals change, privacy, amendment]

Powerful Essays
1212 words (3.5 pages)

A Living Amendment: The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution Essay

- A Living Amendment The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution is the most essential Amendment of all for employees working in the criminal justice field. This Amendment sets the foundation for the criminal justice system and implements mandatory guidelines for governmental employees. When the Constitution was originally created, its sole intent was to place limitations and restrictions on the federal government. The Constitution, as a living document has changed over the years and has continually been interpreted to keep up with America’s ever growing diversity and use of technology....   [tags: foundation for the criminal justice system]

Free Essays
538 words (1.5 pages)

The Fourth Amendment in Criminal Procedure Essay

- ... The search happened because of the arrest warrant not because of the illegal traffic stop. If Frierson had been pulled over and not had an arrest warrant for him then the search would have never happened and he would have left with no issue. However since he did have an arrest warrant on file and it had to be served upon discovery and the gun was then found because of a search incident to arrest as mentioned above. Another example a lot that was use to help make the ruling more sound was that police will often canvas high crime neighborhoods and ask random people for their I.D....   [tags: right to privacy]

Powerful Essays
1504 words (4.3 pages)

The Fourth Amendment and Lawful Arrest Essay

- Reasonable suspicion can be found in the first clause of the Fourth Amendment (Siegel, 2012). It is considered the evidence necessary to prove that a crime has been committed (Siegel, 2012). There is not an exact minimum needed, however Justices have figured it has to fall below the evidence necessary to prove beyond a reasonable doubt of guilt needed in a trial (Siegel, 2012). This part of the Fourth Amendment is also included in the foggy understanding. There is a bias towards how this clause should be read and understood (Bloom, 2003)....   [tags: legal procedure, reasonable doubt]

Powerful Essays
1278 words (3.7 pages)

The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution Essay

- The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution states that individuals have the right "to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and impacts, against outlandish looks and seizures," however the issue close by here is if this additionally applies to the pursuits of open fields and of articles in plain view and if the fourth correction gives insurance over these too. To reaffirm the courts' choice on this matter I will be identifying their choices in the instances of Oliver v. United States (1984), and California v....   [tags: California v. Greenwood]

Powerful Essays
855 words (2.4 pages)

Fourth Amendment Rights Essay

- Fourth Amendment Paper Assignment Today, I am presented with a case that puts in question the violation of individual’s Fourth Amendment rights. This case also puts in question the rights of the authority placed in our streets, neighborhoods and towns to perform actions directed towards certain citizens in an effort to serve and protect the overall population. There must be a careful analysis in order to interpret the records of the incident that occurred to conclude who holds the most justified position in this case under the applicable laws....   [tags: The Bill of Rights, Constitution]

Powerful Essays
2043 words (5.8 pages)

The Fourth Amendment Essay

- Article VI 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.” –U.S. Constitutional Amendments Preface I choose the fourth amendment for two reasons: - It recognizes a right that, inevitably, cannot be taken away from a person....   [tags: essays research papers]

Powerful Essays
950 words (2.7 pages)

Essay Privacy Under the Fourth Amendment

- Privacy Under the Fourth Amendment Katz V. The United States The petitioner Mr. Katz was arrested for illegal gambling, he had been gambling over a public phone. The FBI attached an electronic recorder onto the outside of the public phone booth. The state courts claimed this to be legal because the recording device was on the outside of the phone and the FBI never entered the booth. The Supreme Court Ruled in the favor of Katz. They stated that the Fourth Amendment allowed for the protection of a person and not just a person's property against illegal searches....   [tags: Papers]

Powerful Essays
921 words (2.6 pages)

Essay on Fourth Amendment Exceptions

- The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution states that people have the right “to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures,” but the issue at hand here is whether this also applies to the searches of open fields and of objects in plain view and whether the fourth amendment provides protection over these as well. In order to reaffirm the courts’ decision on this matter I will be relating their decisions in the cases of Oliver v. United States (1984), and California v....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
2959 words (8.5 pages)