The Bill of Rights and the 14th Amendment

Third and Fourth Amendments

What is the fundamental purpose of the Fourth Amendment?

The Fourth Amendment serves to protect individuals from invasive searches and seizures conducted by government officials. The Framers worried that government officials could abuse individual liberty by engaging in roving, fishing-expedition searches pursuant to general warrants. The Fourth Amendment generally requires a law enforcement agent to have a warrant backed up by probable cause before being able to search a person and his or her belongings.


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