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Question 3&4 - Assignment Example

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Therefore, he focuses on the requirements of the fourth amendment. Taft believes there is no analogy that fits wiretapping in the Fourth Amendment…
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Question 3&4
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Describe the reasoning that led Taft to not consider wiretapping a search in Olmstead and why Stewart did in Katz. Justice Taft argues that there is no need for the application of the fourth amendment because the Fifth Amendment was not violated. Therefore, he focuses on the requirements of the fourth amendment. Taft believes there is no analogy that fits wiretapping in the Fourth Amendment. It makes sense to apply the fourth amendment in matters pertaining mail and other material things. It is because the Congress has developed laws to protect the privacy of the mail. However, it is difficult to fit wiretapping because the law does not treat it as an intrusion of privacy. The Fourth Amendment does not apply in wiretapping there was no seizure and search. The evidence was obtained solely by hearing. Nobody entered the house of the defendant by force. Taft asserts that the words contained in the Fourth Amendment cannot be expanded to include a phone and the wires that leave the defender’s home to different parts of the world.
Justice Stewart reasons that private conversations can be made in public. An individual pays for phone services with the expectation that his conversation will not be public. He expects privacy. The intrusion of this privacy via wiretapping is a violation of the Fourth Amendment. Stewart states that listening to phone conversations is equivalent to a search, which has been mentioned in the Fourth Amendment.
Explain the significance of Weeks vs. U.S. concerning gathering and considering evidence in trials involving the fourth Amendment.
The Weeks vs. U.S. case presented the courts with the real definition of privacy intrusion. The trial did not accept the violation of the rights of the defendants found in the Fourth Amendment. The ruling of the case stated that the trial court erred by allowing the evidence collected by forceful entry, search and seizure as part of the evidence. The defendant’s home is a personal space that should not be intruded by any government agency. The Weeks vs. U.S. case helped in defining the implication of the Fourth Amendment. The Fourth Amendment did not affect the evidence that was forcefully seized during the arrest of the defendant. In respect to the court’s conclusion, the Fourth Amendment does not expand to the acts of individuals acting without the push of the federal government. The law is present to control the power of the federal government.
The significance of the case is related to the definition of fourth amendment right implications and the extent of the violations found in it.
The question central to this course is how law written in the 18th century should be interpreted by courts to deal with the technology of the 21st century. Contrast the minority (dissenting) opinions of Brandeis in Olmstead vs. U.S. and Black in Katz vs. U.S.
The interpretation of the law is not constant. The law evolves as time and people change. The development of new technology and new methods help in changing the definition of the words contained in the law. The law has an underlying factor that is constant. For example, the right to privacy is a factor that remains valid. Justice Brandeis dissents by pointing out the need to understand that it is necessary to expound the constitution. The law must be adapt to ensure the rights protected can never be lost. On the other hand, Justice Black dissents (Katz vs. United States) by pointing out that the wiretapping is not covered in the fourth amendment. He believes wiretapping is equivalent to eavesdropping, which was around for long. The law must have included eavesdropping if it wanted to include it. Black and Brandeis differ in the real meaning of wiretapping. In conclusion, the law must change to accommodate the changes in the society. They should protect the rights at all costs.
Question 4 (A and C)
A. Justice Scalia characterizes the thermal imaging devices as a search because it reveals the content in the privacy of the home. The imaging devices detected the heat coming out of the house. Scalia mentions the concept of surveillance and asserts the thermal imaging was a search because of what it did to the petitioner’s home. According to Justice Steven, the ‘bright line developed by Justice Scalia does not handle the matter of the thermal imaging device. Instead, it makes it broad by claiming the thermal imaging device constitutes a search. It is too broad because it implies even sniffing dogs are covered under the fourth amendment, which is not the case. The line created by Scalia would disintegrate when a technology that can see through the wall is in the hands of the public. The line is too narrow because something that protects people from sense-enhancing equipment should not be restricted to homes.
B. Justice Scalia interprets the use of beeper as a search. However, Scalia points out the search was an unconstitutional invasion of privacy. The beeper performed the same thing that agents would have done by following and observing the petition. Justice Alito agrees the use of the GPS tracking devices was a search. The search does not fall under the fourth amendment, which protects the privacy of the home. Officers can survey and watch people in public places when conducing investigation. The search in open fields or public roads does not constitute the meaning of a search depicted in the fourth amendment.
Works Cited
Fine, Toni M. “How the U.S. Court System Works.” n.d. Document
Katz vs. Unites States. Supreme Court of the United States. 1967. Print.
Kyllo vs. United States. Supreme Court of the United States. 2001. Document.
Olmstead et al. v. United States. Green et al. v. Same. Mcinnis v. Same. Supreme Court of the United States. 4 June 1928. Print.
United States, Petitioner v. Antoine Jones. Supreme Court of the United States. 23 Jan. 2012. Print.
Warren and Brandeis. “The Right to Privacy.” Harvard Law Review (1890). PDF Read More
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