Search & Seizure

"...every unjustifiable intrusion by the Government upon the privacy of the individual, whatever the means employed, must be deemed a violation of the Fourth Amendment."— Justice Brandeis (Olmstead v. US)

The Rutherford Institute fights to preserve our Fourth Amendment rights—the right to individual privacy and to be free from unnecessary government intrusions by prohibiting the government from engaging in unreasonable searches and seizures.

Between the “war on terror” and the militarization of the police, Americans are facing increasing government intrusion into their daily lives. With the passage of sweeping laws such as the USA Patriot Act many find themselves questioning whether we really are living under Orwell’s Big Brother government. Many of our nation’s leading newspapers are littered with reports of increased government surveillance and invasions of privacy. Police forces around the country have become more militaristic and abusive toward average citizens. From reaching into our glove compartments in a “random search” to scanning our bodies at the airport, the government is out to acquire a variety of information about all of us.

So whether it be invasive drug testing, weapons searches, illegal police roadblocks, unauthorized surveillance, or intrusive school policies, The Rutherford Institute is dedicated to preserving our individual right to privacy.

Key Cases in Search and Seizure:

Our Recent Work in Search and Seizure

Sixth Circuit Affirms That Police Can Spy on Citizens' Front Doors for 10 Weeks Without a Warrant Using Public Surveillance Cameras

Rutherford Institute Sues Texas Police Over Warrantless Raid, Search & Arrest of Homeowner Who Refused Entry to Police Without a Warrant

Victory: Court Gives Green Light to Lawsuit over Activist Held at Gun Point by Police, Handcuffed and Arrested for Lawfully Carrying a Rifle During a Protest

UPDATE: Police, Gov’t Insist They Had ‘Probable Cause’ to Arrest, Strip Search & Detain A Disabled Man in Psych Ward Based on His Slurred Speech, Unsteady Gait

Rutherford Asks U.S. Supreme Court to Prohibit Government Use of Asset Forfeiture to Deny Citizens Access to a Defense Attorney of Their Choosing

Rutherford Institute Challenges Texas Sheriff's Dept. Over Raid, Search, Seizure & Arrest of Homeowner Who Refused Consent to Warrantless Search

Rutherford Institute Sues Transportation Security Administration Over Virtual Strip Searches, Unregulated Use of Whole Body Imagers at Airports

TRI Asks Court of Appeals to Hold Gov't Officials Accountable for Strip Search, Arrest & Detention of Disabled Man Based on Slurred Speech, Unsteady Gait

Commentary on Search and Seizure Issues

Fear of the Walking Dead: The American Police State Takes Aim

The Raping of America: Mile Markers on the Road to Fascism

Ignorance Is No Excuse for Wrongdoing, Unless You’re a Cop

An Unbearable and Choking Hell: The Loss of Our Freedoms in the Wake of 9/11

Who Will Protect You from the Police? The Rise of Government-Sanctioned Home Invasions

College Girls, Bottled Water and the Emerging American Police State

Smile, the Government Is Watching: Next Generation Identification

The Corporate Surveillance State: How the Thought Police Use Your Cell Phone to Track Your Every Move

Whatever Happened to Justice? Supreme Court OKs Police Tasering Pregnant Women

Strip-Searching America: Florence v. County of Burlington