Did our founding fathers intend for the Fourth Amendment to protect intangible privacy?Did our founding fathers intend for the Fourth Amendment to protect intangible privacy?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that the notion of privacy was a part of the Fourth Amendment.  There is a strong understanding that there is a boundary between public and private, and government must recognize this particular sphere because of the need to obtain a court order or warrant to search one's premises.  In my mind, the framers constructed this as a response to the British actions leading to the American Revolution such as the Writs of Assistance, enabling British officers to search homes and possessions without court approval.  Privacy was  apart of this.  Yet, I believe that the notion of an "intangible" notion of privacy is not exactly embedded in this amendment because of the need for a court order to enter into the realm of the private.  I see the intangible nature of privacy as something that cannot be violated as present in the First Amendment, an entitlement whereby there is a sphere in which privacy is seen in its most intangible and pure form for government encroachment in this realm is extremely difficult.  Few, if any, court orders can enter into spiritual worship or the ability to express oneself.  It is in this amendment that I see a more natural and intangible expression of privacy.

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