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What is the importance of the 4th Amendment?Amendment IV - Searches and...

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sara212 | Student, Undergraduate | Salutatorian

Posted September 30, 2011 at 1:40 PM via web

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What is the importance of the 4th Amendment?

Amendment IV - Searches and Seizures
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.

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted September 30, 2011 at 1:47 PM (Answer #1)

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The Fourth Amendment is very important because it protects us from unresonable intrusions by the government.  It protects us from the prospect of a police state in which the government is free to monitor our every move.

One important idea in a democracy is that the government must actually have a reason to go searching your person or your property.  Governments cannot simply search us just because they want to find out what me might happen to have.  In our democracy, we believe in limiting the power of the government and this is one very important way to do so.

The importance of this amendment, then, is in the fact that it limits what the government can do to us.  It makes sure that the government will not be able to intrude on our persons and our homes without a good reason.  By doing this, it sets up a private sphere in which we are free from government interference.

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