Fourth Amendment

By: Genesis Guillen

Amendment IV

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.

Historical Background

James Madison wrote the fourth amendment, using Otis's ideas from Paxton's case. With memories of abusive British searches in mind, the amendment was officially ratified by the states. The fourth amendment has played a huge role in criminal justice, it provides an illustration of how the Supreme Court interprets a law, the way it's understood and enforced by the government.
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Supreme Court Case

Safford Unified School District v. Redding, 2009

Savanna was thirteen year old student. A male student had reported that another girl, Marissa Glines, had given him a ibuprofen pill. Marissa had a planner and a pocket that revealed more of the pills and even some weapons. Marissa reported that it all belonged to Savanna. Savanna was then searched, it included a search not only in her backpack and pockets, but in her undergarments. She then sued the school district for violating her rights.

Courts Decision and it's Rational

At first the District of Arizona and the School District had agreed that there was no violation of the fourth amendment. The case was then sent to the Supreme Court and they said Savanna's rights had been violated. The strip search by the school was not legal. It was unreasonable considering the nature of the offense and the facts of the case.