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 Until then, you can use Writing Rights to explore key historical documents, early drafts and major proposals behind each provision, and discover how the drafters deliberated, agreed and disagreed, on the path to compromise and the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

Teach the Constitution in your classroom with nonpartisan resources including videos, lesson plans, podcasts, and more. Check out our classroom resources organized by each article or amendment, and by key constitutional questions.

Media Library: Fourth Amendment

Live At America's Town Hall Podcast

Why Do the Innocent Plead Guilty?

Mar 16

Town Hall Video

Does American Criminal Justice Need Reform?

Judges and law professors discuss problems facing the American criminal justice system, as well as the prospective reforms.

Mar 10

Blog Post

A conflict at home creates conflict over the Fourth Amendment in the U.S. Supreme Court

The ancient adage says that “a man’s house is his castle.” The Supreme Court would add, “with exceptions.” Next week,…

Mar 18

Educational Video

The Bill of Rights Featuring Akhil Amar

In this Fun Friday Session, Akhil Reed Amar, Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science at Yale University, joins National…

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