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How does the Bill of Rights and the US Supreme Court regulate the police?

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There are several amendments of the Constitution that are supposed to regulate certain actions of police and the court system. When considering this question, it may be wise to consider how the police routinely break these regulations on a daily basis and often face little to no repercussions for routine human rights violations and violations of these amendments.

The Fourth Amendment limits how police can lawfully conduct searches and seizures. For instance, a cop is technically not allowed to simply stop someone on the street and conduct a random search of their person and belongings. However, for years, "stop and frisk" laws have been implemented across the country, resulting in the unconstitutional searches of hundreds of thousands of (mostly black and Lantinx) people. These searches have also resulted in case after case of rampant police brutality. When a federal judge deemed the searches unconstitutional in 2013, the numbers of these searches have sharply decreased from over...

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krishna-agrawala | Student

Neither Bill of Rights or the US supreme Court directly regulate the activities of police. The actual regulation of police, or for that matter, of any government institution or process are regulated by separate laws, rules and regulations, enacted separately for different fields.

The main purpose of the bill of rights is to ensure that such laws, rules and regulations do not violate the bill of rights. For example consider the fist clause of Bill of Rights forming the first amendment to the constitution. It says:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Also the function of supreme court, in relation to bill of rights is to decide if any action by government or any law passed by the it violates the bill of rights. This is also done by supreme court only when referred it following the laid down procedures. In deciding on such matters, the supreme court also interprets the provisions of law that are open to ambiguity. For example, the fifth amendment uses the term "due process of law", which can be interpreted to mean different things by different people. Supreme court interprets and clarifies such provisions of bills of rights as and when required.