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UNREASONABLE SEARCHES &
Under the British crown, the colonists were subject
to virtually limitless searches and seizures under
what was called a “general warrant.” By 1780, four
years after the founders declared independence, a
total of eight states banned general warrants. After
the Constitution came into force in 1789, the
young nation ratified the Fourth Amendment two
As explained by our Unites States Supreme Court
and grounded in common sense, the Fourth
Amendment protects American citizens against
unreasonable governmental intrusions.
Florida v Jardines 569 US 1 (2013).
In simple terms, the Fourth Amendment safeguards
our right to privacy; to keep private matters private;
and to remain undisturbed from unwelcomed
visitors. At the very core of our inalienable rights
to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is an
assumed expectation of privacy. Undoubtedly, any
decent and civilized society respects an
individual’s right to go about their daily lives
untroubled and to retreat to their home without
interference or interrogation.
authorities. Accordingly, over the last twenty years,
the Fourth Amendment has become especially
relevant as technological advances equip
authorities with the ability to track, surveil and
even retrace movements and communications.
While intended to keep Americans safe and secure
from terrorists and criminals, these technologies
have not always been used by our federal
government ethically or lawfully.
Indeed, this issue hits close to home for
America’s Future. As many of you know, the
government ran roughshod over the privacy rights
of America’s Future Chair Lt. General Michael T.
Flynn USA (Ret.) when he was serving in the White
House and in connection with the 2016
presidential election. Government officials abused
a program designed to protect US national security
by listening to his official phone calls and then
leaking his identity and classified details of
conversations to the media.
General Flynn endured clear and extraordinary
violations of his Fourth Amendment rights — and
for us at America’s Future it is a sharp reminder that
citizens must stay ever vigilant in protecting the
God-given rights that the nation’s founders
guaranteed in our supreme law, the Constitution of
the United States of America.
The Fourth Amendment draws sharp limits against
the arbitrary intrusions of law enforcement