Judge Napolitano: Is the CIA in your kitchen?Submitted by legalizeliberty on Thu, 03/22/2012 - 04:16
If this question had been asked by a fictional character in a spy thriller, it might intrigue you, but you wouldn’t imagine that it could be true in reality. If the Constitution means what it says, you wouldn’t even consider the plausibility of an affirmative answer. After all, the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution was written to prevent the government from violating on a whim or a hunch or a vendetta that uniquely American right: the right to be left alone.
Everyone wants, at some point in the day, at some places in the home, to be left alone. The colonists who fought the war of secession from Great Britain were no different. But that war and the wish to keep the government at bay had been heightened by the colonial experiences involved in the enforcement of the Stamp Act.
That law, which applied to the colonies and not to residents of Great Britain, required that government stamps be purchased and printed on all legal, financial and even political documents in the possession of every colonist. The enforcement of that law – which was done by British soldiers who entered private homes armed not only with guns but also with search warrants they had written for themselves, which Parliament authorized them to do – was so disturbing and resulted in such anti-British political animosity that Parliament eventually rescinded the act.