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11 Crim. Just. J. 293 (1988-1989)
The Decline of Fourth Amendment Jurisprudence

handle is hein.journals/tjeflr11 and id is 299 raw text is: THE DECLINE OF FOURTH AMENDMENT
by Matthew Lippman *
In its petition to King George III, dated October 26, 1774, the
American Continental Congress protested colonial officials' unbri-
dled power of search and seizure which the Congress charged had
been used to break open and enter houses, without the authority of
a civil magistrate, founded on legal information.' This contro-
versy between British customhouse officers and American colonists
was one in a series of disagreements which precipitated the Ameri-
can revolution.2 The importance which the colonists attached to
freedom from search and seizure is attested to by the number of
early state constitutions which limited the search and seizure
power,3 and by the fourth amendment's prohibition against unrea-
sonable searches and seizures and the probable cause warrant
This essay argues that the fourth amendment is being inter-
preted so as to have little practical significance in protecting the
rights of Americans and has been reduced to a mere symbol of per-
sonal freedom. Initially, the evolution from a property-based to a
privacy-based fourth amendment jurisprudence is sketched; the ap-
plication  of probable    cause  privacy   analysis to   dwellings,
automobiles and luggage then is outlined; and the exceptions to the
probable cause and warrant requirements are briefly discussed.
Some of the procedural limitations on fourth amendment protec-
tions are surveyed. In conclusion, the current state of fourth
amendment doctrine is evaluated.5
* Associate Professor of Criminal Justice, University of Illinois at Chicago; Ph.D.
Northwestern; J.D. American; LL.M. Harvard.
2. Id. at 51.
3. Id. at 79-82.
4. The fourth amendment to the United States Constitution provides that:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and ef-
fects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no
Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirma-
tion, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or
things to be seized. Id.
5. This article will not discuss the exclusionary rule in depth since it has been the

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