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Search & Seizure

The Rutherford Institute fights to preserve our Fourth Amendment rights—the right to individual privacy and to be free from unnecessary government intrusions by prohibiting the government from engaging in unreasonable searches and seizures.

Between the “war on terror” and the militarization of the police, Americans are facing increasing government intrusion into their daily lives. With the passage of sweeping laws such as the USA Patriot Act many find themselves questioning whether we really are living under Orwell’s Big Brother government. Many of our nation’s leading newspapers are littered with reports of increased government surveillance and invasions of privacy. Police forces around the country have become more militaristic and abusive toward average citizens. From reaching into our glove compartments in a “random search” to scanning our bodies at the airport, the government is out to acquire a variety of information about all of us.

So whether it be invasive drug testing, weapons searches, illegal police roadblocks, unauthorized surveillance, or intrusive school policies, The Rutherford Institute is dedicated to preserving our individual right to privacy.

Key Cases in Search and Seizure:


"...every unjustifiable intrusion by the Government upon the privacy of the individual, whatever the means employed, must be deemed a violation of the Fourth Amendment."— Justice Brandeis (Olmstead v. US)