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The fourth amendment in the United States of America Constitution is the section of the Bill of Rights that protects all US citizens against unfair searches, confiscations, and arrests. It states that all search and arrest warrants must be authorized sensibly, on justifiable grounds. It came up as a reaction to the misuse of the injunction of assistance which is a wide-ranging search order (Costello 1281).
The amendment was made in order to restrict searches and arrests in accordance with the specific instructions offered by the concerned law enforcement authority.
Origin of the amendment
This amendment traces its roots in the English law, and it applies to orders by government authorities as opposed to such exercises being enforced by citizens and entities, not under the instruction of the government. A search is said to take place when the individual affected, and the general public feels that privacy is deserved in the thing or place searched (Costello 1281).
One of the Landmark Supreme Court cases in the US involving the fourth amendment was in the year 2002 and it was between the Board of Education of Independent School District 92 of Pottawatomie County and the Earls. Over the years, the campaign against drugs and other substance abuse in learning institutions has been upped. Steps taken are mainly arbitrary searches of lockers and other personal effects, including body tests.
The Supreme Court maintained that arbitrary searches of student sportsmen and women do not go against the fourth amendment’s stature in opposing unfair searches and arrests, upholding an early ruling it had made in the year 1995 in Vernonia (Costello 1282). Most schools then began mandatory tests for all participants in extracurricular activities.
Current event in the US that pertains to the fourth amendment
Arguments over the fourth amendment get heated by the day, literally. This is because various entities drawn from the fields of environment, commerce, labor, and the civil societies seem to have colluded against it, in a bid to gain more proponents of the amendment. The main argument by these groups is that amendment four is an expensive job killer and time waster.
One argument is that judges may use purportedly unlawfully obtained proof in making rulings against an organization (Costello 1282). However, in reference to the fourth amendment, issues on the irregularity of searches conducted need to be looked into in the following forum, after the indictment of the suspect(s).
The amendment offers a provision for this in the sense that such proof that is fraudulently obtained should be excluded. Such proof should also be excluded in cases whereby the search order issuing the judge is seen to be partial and where the warrant lacks satisfactory distinctiveness.
Proponents of the fourth amendment also argue that the exclusionary rule is not clearly defined. Consequently, the Supreme Court has come out to clear the air in that the exclusionary rule applies not to proof obtained as a result of laxity concerning a state catalog. This, however, applies as much as the law enforcing officer used the catalog in honesty and that the laxity was not all-encompassing.
The proponents are, nevertheless, right to an extent since it is not clear the level to which the honesty exemption applies in arrests without warrants in quite a number of situations (Costello 1282). The Supreme Court has maintained that the rule does not apply to parole revocation hearings, tax hearings, banishment hearings, and disciplined forces discharge judgments. This ruling does also not apply to minor protecting hearings.
Costello, George. (Eds) (2006). ‘‘The Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation.’’. Web.