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

VICTORY: Police Agree to Settle Lawsuit Over Unconstitutional Raid, Search, Seizure & Arrest of Homeowner Who Refused Consent to Warrantless Entry

The Rutherford Institute’s amicus brief in Collins v. Commonwealth

The Rutherford Institute’s amicus brief in Collins v. Commonwealth

Rutherford Institute Denounces Justice Dept. Plan to Expand Policing for Profit Schemes, Issues Constitutional Guidance on Civil Asset Forfeiture

Kansas Supreme Court Rules That a Reclined Car Seat Is Suspicious Behavior & Can Be Used by Police as a Justification for Warrantless Searches

U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Abusive Civil Forfeiture Law, Allows Police to Keep $201,000 in Cash from Legal Home Sale with No Proof of Criminal Activity

Rutherford Institute Issues Constitutional Guidelines to Aid Citizens and Police in De-Escalating Encounters, Protecting Rights, Life & Property

Challenging the TSA’s Screening Protocols as Ineffective, Invasive, Unlawful and Unhealthy, Rutherford Institute Asks Court to Prohibit Virtual Strip Searches

Commentary on Search and Seizure Issues

What Country Is This? Forced Blood Draws, Cavity Searches and Colonoscopies

Stealing from the Citizenry: How Government Goons Use Civil Asset Forfeiture to Rob Us Blind

‘We the Prisoners’: The Demise of the Fourth Amendment

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