The Purpose of the Fourth Amendment and Crafting Rules to Implement that Purpose

Thomas K. Clancy*

What is the purpose of the Fourth Amendment?  How should rules – legal principles – be crafted to implement that purpose?  This article addresses those questions. Nothing is more fundamental to the development of Fourth Amendment principles than the answers to those questions.  Given the wide applicability of the Fourth Amendment to the countless intrusions by the government in daily life, how the Fourth Amendment is to be construed is itself of fundamental concern to all Americans.  It is the foundation upon which other freedoms rest.

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*Director, National Center for Justice and the Rule of Law and Research Professor, University of Mississippi School of Law. J.D., Vermont Law School; B.A., University of Notre Dame. The development of this article benefited significantly from a workshop with Professors Christopher Green, Matthew Hall, and Jack Nowlin.