One of the causes of the American Revolution was the decision of the British to conduct random searches using “writs of assistance" or “general warrants." These warrants empowered authorities to search houses, people, papers and effects whenever and wherever desired. The 4th Amendment guards citizens in the United States against illegal searches and seizures (http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data/constitution/amendment04/). The 4th Amendment states: "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." Recently former Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura filed a lawsuit against the Transportation Security Administration (http://caivn.org/article/2011/01/26/jesse-ventura-sues-tsa-violating-constitution) (TSA) allegeding that searches conducted by TSA agents violate the 4th Amendment. Absent reasonable grounds for suspicion, the suit states, whole body imaging scans and pat-down body searches are unwarranted and unreasonable intrusions on personal privacy and dignity and the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. Disclaimer: None of the information or materials posted above is intended to constitute legal advice. Viewing this outline does not constitute an attorney client relationship. Local counsel should always be consulted before contemplating any legal action. The above information is general in nature and should not be undertaken without the express advice of an attorney of your choosing.
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