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Question about right to privacy

Answer the following questions in your paper:

To what extent does the Constitution protect the right of privacy?

Why did each case need to be heard and interpreted by the Supreme Court?

How does the Supreme Court's decision in each case continue to affect the rights of American citizens today?

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US Constitution Q& A

1. To what extent does the Constitution protect the right of privacy?

The US Constitution does not explicitly establish the 'right to privacy'. This can be found implied in a number of Amendments, most important of which is the 9th Amendment as it falls under what is termed as 'basic human right'. The US Constitution Website (Mount, 2009) explains:
"...Supreme Court decisions over the years have established that the right to privacy is a basic human right, and as such is protected by virtue of the 9th Amendment. The right to privacy has come to the public's attention via several controversial Supreme Court rulings, including several dealing with contraception (the Griswold and Eisenstadt cases), interracial marriage (the Loving case), and abortion (the well-known Roe v Wade case). In addition, it is said that a right to privacy is inherent in many of the amendments in the Bill of Rights, such as the 3rd, the 4th's search and seizure limits, and the 5th's self-incrimination limit."

For reference, the 9th Amendment is as follows - "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people." It is therefore implied here that the right to 'privacy' is retained by all Americans and as such must be respected to that extent. But to what extent? For search and seizure, privacy rights can be breached as long as officers have determined probable cause. For example, if an officer is at the door of the house and from his point of view can see evidence that determines probable cause (i.e. illegal drugs in plain sight, illegal activity in plain sight, abuse in plain sight), then the police officer can enter the premises even without a warrant. Additionally, privacy rights have taken a backseat ...

Solution Summary

The solution provides insight, information and advise in tackling the questions (see above) on the topic of privacy rights and the US Constitution. A Word-version is attached. Resources are listed for further exploration of the topic.