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An Analysis of the Fourth Amendment - Research Paper Example

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An Analysis of The Fourth Amendment The fourth amendment was a significant development of the American constitution, which spells out the limits of the executive in the manner in which it may carry out searches, seizures, or arrests on the citizenry…
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An Analysis of the Fourth Amendment
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Download file to see previous pages The conduct and practice of the authorities was consistent with the view that the authorities had unlimited powers over all their subjects and could search their private residences at their own whims. Legal scholars and historians connect the origin of the fourth amendment to the old English law, which was equally challenged on the grounds of the excessive powers wielded by the King in searching or arresting persons suspected of certain violations. The fourth amendment was viewed as a culmination of critics of the search system who insisted that the authorities and the executive should be guided by very specific limits when conducting searches on private citizens (Galiano 26). On this matter, some of the issues that attend to the subject of the searches include the motives under which the authorities may act when executing their searches and the capacity of the limitations that should guide the entire search processes. The amendment was considered as a restoration of the rights to privacy of citizens and the limits for action on the part of state officers and other parties acting for and on behalf of the executive. General warrants had allowed the executive to selectively apply the law in ways that suited the limited or political interests of the executive. As such, it was necessary for the state to revamp the constitution in ways that laid structural obstacles in the possibility of misusing the law to suit the private interests of the political class. Increasing concerns that the general warrants had permitted the executive to suppress the opposition and muzzle the media led to the protests and criticisms that eventually culminated in the abolition of the general warrants. The general understanding of the fourth amendment is the validity and force of a warrant can only be obtained through the sanctioning of the judiciary. Effectively, the amendment altered the powers of the executives by determining the specific details upon, which a warrant may be sought and the manner in which it may be applied in order to meet the thresholds of legality (Maclin 58). The curtailing of the powers of the executive through the abolition of the general warrant is one of the important features of the fourth amendment. On this score, it might be argued that the determination of the rights of the citizenry as brought about within the warrant entailed the structural revision of the systems that had allowed and condoned the adoption and application of warrants in unspecified ways. The limitations of the traditional systems gave room to the abuse of office since the executive could engage in suppressive or oppressive activities in ways that promoted the denial of rights to the citizenry. The Fourth Amendment stipulates the conditions under which warrants may be permissible (Taslitz 39). One of the fundamental features of the Fourth Amendment is that it foregrounds the condition of reasonability in the execution of a legal search or arrest. The Amendment explicitly outlaws any forms of unreasonable searches, which in effect affirms that value of human freedom and the expression of individual privacy as key factors that require the protection and safeguarding by the government (Schulhofer 66). On this matter, it becomes ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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