Essay about Privacy Under the Fourth Amendment

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Privacy Under the Fourth Amendment Katz V. The United States The petitioner Mr. Katz was arrested for illegal gambling, he had been gambling over a public phone. The FBI attached an electronic recorder onto the outside of the public phone booth. The state courts claimed this to be legal because the recording device was on the outside of the phone and the FBI never entered the booth. The Supreme Court Ruled in the favor of Katz. They stated that the Fourth Amendment allowed for the protection of a person and not just a person's property against illegal searches. The Fourth Amendment written in 1791 states, The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches …show more content…

The FBI recorded him using the phone six different times, all six conversations were around three minutes long. They made sure that they only recorded him and not anyone else's conversations. Katz lost the case all the way up to the Supreme Court because the state courts and the Court of Appeals said there was no amendment violation since there was "no physical entrance into the area occupied by the petitioner (Hall 482)." The Constitutional Fourth Amendment was looked at and analyzed very carefully and the Supreme Court decided in favor of Katz with a seven to one vote. Strong arguments were brought to the stand, the Governments eavesdropping violated the privacy of Katz. "The Fourth Amendment governs not only the seizure of tangible items but extends as well the recording of oral statements (Katzen 1)." The surveillance in this case could have been legal by the constitution, but it was not part of the warrant issued. Warrants are very valuable to make everything stated in the fourth amendment legal. The telephone booth was made of glass so he was visible to the public, but he did not enter the booth so no one could see him, he entered the booth so no one could hear him. A person in a telephone booth is under protection of the Fourth Amendment, One who occupies it, shuts the door behind him, and pays the toll that permits him to place a call is surly entitled to assume that the words he utters into the mouthpiece will

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