Constitution Daily

Smart conversation from the National Constitution Center

Fourth Amendment

Looking back at the Church Committee

January 27, 2019 By NCC Staff

On January 27, 1975, Senator Frank Church led a new Senate committee formed to investigate allegations of U.S. government spying on its own citizens. The committee’s report laid the groundwork for today’s controversy over NSA surveillance programs.

On this day, massive raids during the Red Scare

January 2, 2019 By NCC Staff

The Constitution faced a major test on this day in 1920 when raids ordered by Attorney General Mitchell Palmer saw thousands of people detained without warrants.

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

December 18, 2018 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.

Pinky the Dog gets her day at Iowa’s Supreme Court

October 19, 2018 By Scott Bomboy

A dispute about a dog that bit a cat is now at Iowa’s Supreme Court and it addresses an important question about how municipalities can regulate dog breeds deemed as dangerous.

Looking ahead: Cases for the Supreme Court’s next term

August 20, 2018 By Scott Bomboy

Coming up in October, the Supreme Court starts a new term and hears new cases. Here’s a quick look at three cases the Justices will consider during their first week of arguments.

Another border shooting case could be heading to Supreme Court

August 13, 2018 By Scott Bomboy

A Ninth Circuit appeals court ruling may bring a question back to the Supreme Court about the ability to sue border agents at the United States-Mexico border for fatal shootings.

Supreme Court Justices broaden cellphone privacy

June 22, 2018 By Lyle Denniston

Voicing computer-age worry about Americans’ privacy when they use their telephones, a sharply split Supreme Court ruled on Friday that the locations where people make or answer calls are protected by the Constitution. 

On this day, a win for ‘stop and frisk’

June 10, 2018 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.

Olmstead case was a watershed for Supreme Court

June 4, 2018 By NCC Staff

Today marks the 90th anniversary of the landmark Olmstead v. United States wiretapping case decided by the Supreme Court, which had a far-reaching impact still felt today.

Supreme Court Justices address rental car search policies

May 15, 2018 By Scott Bomboy

A unanimous Supreme Court said on Monday that Pennsylvania state troopers violated the Fourth Amendment during a traffic stop after citing a car’s driver lost constitutional protections because his name wasn’t on a rental agreement.

Sign up for our email newsletter