The Fourth Amendment in the Bill of Rights

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The Fourth Amendment in the Bill of Rights was ratified on December 15, 1791. This Amendment protects people from the police searching their homes and private property without a properly executed search warrant. "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" (Annenberg Classroom, 2011).


"The Fourth Amendment protects people against unreasonable searches and seizures by government officials. A search can mean everything from a frisking by a police officer to a blood test to a search of an individual's home or car. A seizure occurs when the government takes control of an individual or something in his or her possession. Items that are seized often are used as evidence when the individual is charged with a crime" (Annenberg Classroom, 2011). This amendment is meant for agents of the government, it does not apply to people who do not belong to the government.


"The Fourth Amendment imposes certain limitations on police investigating a crime and prevents the use of illegally obtained evidence at trial. But it does not restrict all searches. For example, courts have ruled that school officials may search school lockers and require that students who participate in extracurricular activities undergo random drug testing" (Annenberg Classroom, 2011). This amendment gives people a right to privacy. This amendment can be bypassed by police if they have a reasonable cause to search, which is typically when people feel like their rights are being violated.


To social workers, this amendment can have various degrees of importance depending on where they work. If the social worker works at the Department of Human Resources, they must abide by the Fourth Amendment, they cannot search any of their clients without a warrant or reasonable cause. If a social worker works in a nursing home, they have to abide by a different set of rules when it comes to searching which is called Resident's Rights which is put in place and enforced by the Ombudsman's Office. In both cases clients and resident's alike have their right to privacy protected.


I found the Third Amendment the most surprising. I did not realize that the people of the United States needed to have rights written down stating that soldiers could not come into their homes without permission of the owner. "The drafters of the Constitution, like many other colonists, were resentful of laws, in place before the Revolutionary War, that allowed British soldiers to take over private homes for their own use. Thus, the amendment bars the government from forcing individuals to provide lodging to soldiers in their homes, except during war when the interest of national security may override an individual's right of private property" (Annenberg Classroom, 2011).


Importance of Documents in U.S. History


The Declaration of Independence is the document that formalized and made evident colonists' intent to disassociate from the British crown and to develop an independent nation state. In effect, it's the document that got the ball rolling on establishing an independent, democratic nation. With respect to its importance today, I think it mostly serves to provide historical context and understanding in that it provides a tangible document that we can point to and say this is when things got serious. Otherwise it's not a functional document- no laws are made or not made, based on it. 


The Constitution is absolutely everything. It lays the entire foundation of the U.S.'s entire government framework by establishing three branches, each having clearly defined governmental roles and duties and each of which provides some level of check on the other branches. Its practical purpose today is pretty much the same as it's always been, it sets defines the meets and bounds of each branch's power and any attempt by one branch to grab more power the other branches must not be inconsistent with the Constitution. 


The Bill of Rights is the first ten amendments of the Constitution and is therefore a component if the Constitution. This is where free speech, rights against unreasonable search and seizures, the establishment clause, etc. Is created. No law or regulation that is found to violate the Bill of Rights can stay in effect. This is the part of the Constitution that established the pillars of a lot of civil rights.



  1. Fourth Amendment. (2011, March 07). Retrieved June 14, 2018, from
  2. The Annenberg Guide to the United States Constitution. (2011, March 02). Retrieved June 14, 2018, from
  3. Third Amendment. (2011, March 07). Retrieved June 14, 2018, from
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The Fourth Amendment In The Bill Of Rights. (2019, Jul 31). Retrieved February 22, 2024 , from

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