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.
The Fourth Amendment written in 1791 states, 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 (Galloway 214). The court was unsure on
weather or not they should consider a public telephone booth as an area
protected by the fourth amendment.
The court did state that: The Fourth Amendment protects people,
not places. What a person knowingly exposes to the public, even in his
own home or office, is not a subject of Fourth Amendment protection. But
what he seeks to preserve as private, even in an area accessible to the
public, may be constitutionally protected.
Searches conducted without warrants have been held unlawful
notwithstanding facts unquestionably showing probable cause, for the
Constitution requires that the deliberate impartial judgment of a judicial
officer be interposed between the citizen and the police (Maddex 201).
The FBI agents found out t...
... middle of paper ...
...e court made some
requirements for electronic eavesdropping. Most of them were put in the
Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968. There are strict
requirements for electronic surveillance. Warrants now have to be
specified for the use of electronic devices.
Galloway, John, (ed.) The Supreme Court and The Rights of The
Accused. New York: Facts on File, 1973.
Hall, Kermit. The Oxford Companion to The Supreme Court of The
United States. New York: Oxford, 1992.
Katzen, Sally. "Katz V. United States". FedWorld/FLITE Supreme
Court Decisions Homepage. 24 Sep. 1997.
Levy, Leonard, (ed.) Encyclopedia of the American Constitution.
New York: Macmillan, 1986.
Maddex, James, Jr. Constitutional Law: Cases and Comments. St.
Paul: West, 1979.
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