The Constitution Today: Fourth Amendment

The Bill of Rights - The National Archives

The Bill of Rights

The National Archives

The Constitution Today: Fourth Amendment

The Constitution Today: The 4th Amendment protects Americans against unreasonable searches and seizures. How modern technology is testing its boundaries.

The 4th Amendment was added to the United States Constitution in 1791 as part of the Bill of Rights. It protects American citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures by the government. In recent years, law enforcement is using new technologies like global positioning systems and video surveillance to fight crime. Critics say 4th Amendment protections are eroding in the process. They believe Americans have a fundamental right to privacy-- even in public places. Today, as part of our ongoing “Constitution Today” series, we examine the origins of the 4th Amendment and how digital technology is testing its boundaries like never before.


Jeffrey Rosen

professor of law at The George Washington University; legal affairs editor at The New Republic.

Michael Quinn

president and executive director of James Madison's Montpelier

Scott Fredericksen

managing partner, Foley & Lardner, LLP; former federal prosecutor and Independent Counsel

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