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)

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.

But The Rutherford Institute fights to preserve our Fourth Amendment rights. The Fourth Amendment guarantees our right to individual privacy and to be free from unnecessary government intrusions by prohibiting the government from engaging in unreasonable searches and seizures. 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: TSA Whole Body Scanners

Our Recent Work in Search and Seizure

>>Rutherford Institute Sues Police, Health Officials for Arresting & Detaining Disabled Man in Mental Health Facility Based on Slurred Speech, Unsteady Gait

>>Citing First & Fourth Amendments, Rutherford Institute Asks Appeals Court to Reinstate Lawsuit Over Marine’s Arrest, Detention Due to Facebook Posts

>>Rejecting Gov’t Claims That Cabbies Have No Right to Privacy, Rutherford Urges Court to Declare NYC’s Surveillance of Taxi Cabs Unconstitutional

>>VICTORY: U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Privacy Rights, 9-0, Requires that Officers Obtain a Warrant in Order to Search Cell Phones Confiscated During Arrest

Commentary on Search and Seizure Issues

>>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