Searching for the Fourth Amendment eLesson

December 14th, 2012 by

Bill of Rights in the News: Searching for the Fourth Amendment The steady march of science and technology has a way of bringing settled law into new areas, challenging what was once convention. An upcoming court case involves just such a predicament – whether or not the government can search your laptop or cell phone Read more…

Are They Watching You? eLesson

November 27th, 2012 by

Are They Watching You? eLesson The Constitutional principle of due process, which holds that government must interact with citizens according to duly‑enacted laws, balances the rights of suspects with public safety. The Fourth Amendment was added to the Constitution to ensure we would be protected from unreasonable searches and seizures. But do all searches require Read more…

Bill of Frights – Warrantless Searches

October 24th, 2012 by

Bill of Frights – Warrantless Searches What could be more frightening than violations of our constitutional rights? But is everything that appears to be a violation actually one? This week we’ll explore some current constitutional issues ripped from the headlines, and delve into some questions about whether rights are being violated. We hope you enjoy Read more…

Olmstead v. United States (1927)

September 27th, 2012 by

Olmstead v. United States (1927)   The 1927 case of Olmstead v. United States proved to be an incredibly important and influential decision.  The case revolved around the prosecution of Washington state resident Roy Olmstead for attempting to smuggle and sell alcohol in violation of Prohibition. After suspecting Olmstead for years, the government gathered evidence Read more…

Congratulations to the Winners of the Bill of Rights Institute Badge

June 4th, 2012 by

This year, the Bill of Rights Institute partnered with our friends at the Harlan Institute to offer a BRI Badge. For this badge, students considered whether the Fourth Amendment places any limitations on a school’s power to search students (including their backpacks and cell phones). Check out some of the best posts written by students that received the Read more…

Florence v. The Board of Chosen Freeholders

April 12th, 2012 by

On April 2, the Supreme Court delivered a 5-4 decision in Florence v. Board of Chosen Freeholders of the County of Burlington. The question in Florence centered around the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable search and seizures. The Court was asked to consider if the Fourth Amendment permits jail officers to conduct a suspicion-less strip Read more…

Bill of Frights! Do warrantless searches violate the 4th Amendment?

October 24th, 2011 by

What could be more frightening than violations of our constitutional rights? But is everything that appears to be a violation actually one? This week we’ll explore some current constitutional issues ripped from the headlines, and delve into some questions about whether rights are being violated. We hope you enjoy our Bill of Frights! Under what Read more…

Airport Security – Protective or Provocative?

May 12th, 2011 by

While traveling this weekend, my mom and I were discussing whether we would still be required to take our shoes off at the airport since Osama bin Laden had been killed. She pulled up the TSA website and found that in the last week, they have confiscated: 7 artfully concealed prohibited items found at checkpoints 13 firearms Read more…

Facebook and the Fourth Amendment

May 3rd, 2011 by

Internet privacy is an ever growing concern in our tech-savvy era. Recently, United States senators John McCain and John Kerry introduced a bill that called for an internet “privacy bill of rights” in conjunction with the Department of Commerce. “Does the bill do enough to protect our privacy?” The St. Louis Today reported on Monday Read more…

Students: Is your name and school record public information?

March 11th, 2011 by

A contentious court case in Illinois is making students re-evaluate the assumption of privacy of their personal information at public universities. The Chronicle of Higher Education is reporting that FERPA, the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act, does not necessarily prohibit schools from releasing student information like name, address, GPA, and test scores to outside Read more…