Civil Liberties POLS 21: The American Political System “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” —Benjamin Franklin
What is Privacy? “The makers of the Constitution conferred the most comprehensive of rights and the right most valued by all civilized men—the right to be let alone.” —Justice Louis D. Brandeis, 1890
Griswold v. Connecticut (1965) "Any person who uses any drug, medicinal article or instrument for the purpose of preventing conception shall be fined not less than fifty dollars or imprisoned not less than sixty days nor more than one year or be both fined and imprisoned…. Any person who assists, abets, counsels, causes, hires or commands another to commit any offense may be prosecuted and punished as if he were the principal offender." Estelle Griswold, in front of the New Haven, Connecticut offices of Planned Parenthood.
The foregoing cases suggest that specific guarantees in the Bill of Rights have penumbras, formed by emanations from those guarantees that help give them life and substance. Various guarantees create zones of privacy. The right of association contained in the penumbra of the First Amendment is one, as we have seen. The Third Amendment in its prohibition against the quartering of soldiers "in any house" in time of peace without the consent of the owner is another facet of that privacy. The Fourth Amendment explicitly affirms the "right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures." The Fifth Amendment in its Self-Incrimination Clause enables the citizen to create a zone of privacy which government may not force him to surrender to his detriment. The Ninth Amendment provides: "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people…" We have had many controversies over these penumbral rights of "privacy and repose." These cases bear witness that the right of privacy which presses for recognition here is a legitimate one.
A penumbra is an astronomical term describing a space of partial illumination in between shadow and light. Here, it means “the vague borders of words or concepts.” In short, it refers to those rights that are implied in a constitution.
The Right to Privacy • The 1st Amendment protects freedom of association; • The 3rd Amendment says that soldiers cannot be quartered in private homes without the owner’s consent; • The 4th Amendment protects against unreasonable searches and seizures; • The 5th Amendment shields against self-incrimination; • The 9th Amendment reserves certain rights to the people (“The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people”). A “right” to privacy does not appear in the text of the U.S. Constitution or in the Bill of Rights. It must be inferred:
Extending Griswold • Eisenstadt v. Baird (1972) • Roe v. Wade (1973) • Lawrence v. Texas (2003) In Griswold v. Connecticut, the “right to privacy” became Constitutional law.
Does Megan’s Law violate the privacy of convicted felons? Jesse Timmendequas Megan Kanka
What do these cases have in common? • Megan’s Law • Airport screening • High tech crime detection • Google street view • Electronic surveillance • NSA spying They all place privacy at odds with our desire to protection ourselves, our families, and our homes from harm.
Should the police be allowed to use high tech devices to detect crime? + =
Are backscatter X-ray machines used for airport screening too intrusive?
Does Google violate our privacy? Google Earth
Electronic Surveillance • Credit cards and ATM machines • Grocery store loyalty cards (e.g., Price Chopper, Shaws) • Highway toll passes (EZ-Pass) • Cell phone records • GPS tracking • Web browser “cookies” and targeted advertising • CCTV cameras • Facebook ad preferences and facial recognition Think of all the ways we’re being watched every day:
Do CCTV surveillance cameras violate our privacy? Michelle Gardner-Quinn, murdered in 2006
NSA Spying “Relying on data scooped up from so-called leaky apps—everything from Angry Birds and Google Maps to applications with photo- and location-sharing abilities like Facebook, Flickr, and Twitter—the NSA and Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters have been secretly collecting swaths of personal data about users’ age, daily whereabouts, address books, and much more, according to documents provided by Edward Snowden and published in The New York Times…” Edward Snowden
Painful Trade-offs? By surrendering our freedoms, do we better preserve our personal safety or our national security?