Constitution Daily

Smart conversation from the National Constitution Center

Fourth Amendment

Supreme Court rules for cops in ‘party out of bounds’ case

January 22, 2018 By NCC Staff

A unanimous Supreme Court said on Monday that police officers who busted partiers at a vacant District of Columbia house in 2008 were entitled to immunity for placing the participants under arrest.

Katz v. United States: The Fourth Amendment adapts to new technology

December 18, 2017 By Nicandro Iannacci

On December 18, 1967, the Supreme Court ruled in Katz v. United States, expanding the Fourth Amendment protection against “unreasonable searches and seizures” to cover electronic wiretaps.

Is telephone privacy different in the digital age?

November 29, 2017 By Lyle Denniston

Fifty years ago, the Supreme Court changed its mind about what the Fourth Amendment protects, switching its focus from physical places to people. On Wednesday, in a hearing that ran considerably longer than the norm, the Justices explored a new focus for the digital age: the cellphone.

Case preview: The cops and your cellphone records

October 30, 2017 By Scott Bomboy

In late November, the Supreme Court will tackle a very modern question about the venerable Fourth Amendment: Does it allow police to see where you’ve been for the past four months by looking at your cellphone data without a warrant?

Party goers v. cops featured at the Supreme Court

October 4, 2017 By Scott Bomboy

Arguments at the Supreme Court on Wednesday featured a case about the liability and immunity of police officers who busted some partiers at a vacant District of Columbia house.

Cars, other vehicles and the Constitution

September 29, 2017 By Lyle Denniston

America has had its Constitution for more than two centuries, and yet today there are many questions about its meaning that still do not have final answers.  A perfect example: What does the word “unreasonable” mean?  The Supreme Court agreed this week to try again to give an answer – but there is not the slightest chance that this will end the inquiry.

Federal judge blocks key parts of Texas sanctuary cities bill

August 31, 2017 By NCC Staff

A federal judge on Wednesday put a temporary halt to key provisions in a proposed Texas state law that would allow for fines and jail time for local officials who didn’t enforce state-mandated immigration-related policies.

In cross-border shooting case, Supremes ask lower court to try again

June 26, 2017 By Nicandro Iannacci

On Monday, the Supreme Court erased the Fifth Circuit’s ruling in Hernández v. Mesa and asked the court to reconsider in light of its own recent decision.

This week in Supreme Court history: A win for ‘stop and frisk’

June 16, 2017 By NCC Staff

On June 10, 1968, the Court ruled that a police officer may stop and search a citizen on the street if the officer has "reasonable suspicion" that the citizen is armed or involved in a crime.

Recalling the Supreme Court’s historic statement on contraception and privacy

June 7, 2017 By Nicandro Iannacci

It was on this day in 1965 that the Supreme Court ruled in a landmark case about contraception use by married couples that laid the groundwork for a constitutional “right to privacy” in the United States.

Sign up for our email newsletter