Fourth Amendment

Search and Seizure

Passed by Congress September 25, 1789. Ratified December 15, 1791. The first 10 amendments form the Bill of Rights

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Read Interpretations of the Fourth Amendment

More about Fourth Amendment

The Drafting Table

Coming soon for this provision! Until then, you can use Writing Rights to explore key historical documents, early drafts and major proposals behind each provision, and discover how the drafters deliberated, agreed and disagreed, on the path to compromise and the final text.

In the Classroom

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Media Library: Fourth Amendment

Live At America's Town Hall Podcast

Justice Louis Brandeis: American Prophet

Feb 18

Town Hall Video

Virtual Town Hall: The Constitutional Legacy of the Warren Court: 50 Years Later

Law professors Geoffrey Stone and David Strauss discuss their new book Democracy and Equality: The Enduring Constitutional Vision…

Apr 6

Blog Post

On this day, the Roe v. Wade decision

On January 22, 1973, the Supreme Court handed down a decision that continues to divide the nation to this day.

Jan 22

Educational Video

Scholar Exchange: Constitution 101 with Jeffrey Rosen and Peter Sagal

Journalist and radio host Peter Sagal joins National Constitution Center President and CEO Jeffrey Rosen for Constitution 101.

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