Right to Privacy Crime and Law -- Nilsen
Privacy is: The right to be let alone
Privacy is: The right to do what you want without government interference
Privacy is found: Nowhere in the Constitution!
Zones of Privacy • First Amendment (religion, others) • Third Amendment (military quartering) • Fourth Amendment (search and seizure) • Fifth Amendment (self-incrimination) • Ninth Amendment (all other rights) • Fourteenth Amendment (due process)
How do courts tell whether privacy is violated? • Reasonable Expectation of Privacy (REOP) vs. government interest
What about: • A public school requires students to obey a dress code and restricts the hair length of boys. • The government requires taxpayers to reveal the source of their income, even if it is from illegal activities.
What about: • A law forbids nude sunbathing anywhere at a community’s beaches. • In a prison that has several stabbings, inmates are strip searched every day.
What about: • A state law requires motorcyclists to wear helmets. • The police place a small device in a phone that enables them to record all numbers dialed on that phone.
The REOP at school is very weak, except for some confidentiality concerns.
The REOP in information gathering is strong, except for acts done in public.
The REOP for reproductive decisions is moderately strong, except for all sorts of exceptions.
What about: • A state law requires that the father of the baby provide written consent before a woman is able to obtain an abortion. • A poor woman is unable to obtain an abortion because her state does not provide public funds to cover such a medical procedure.
What about: • A state law requires a 24-hour waiting period between the time of the woman’s decision to have the abortion and the actual procedure. • A state law requires a pregnant minor (someone under the age of 18) to obtain written consent from both parents in order to obtain an abortion.
What about: • A state law requires a pregnant minor to obtain written consent from one parent or from a judge in order to obtain an abortion.
Examples • The USA Patriot Act allows greater government surveillance powers in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. • President Lincoln suspended the writ of habeus corpus during the Civil War.
Examples • During World War I, the federal government restricted the right to criticize the government, either verbally or in writing. • During World War II, the federal government forced over 100,000 citizens of Japanese ancestry into detainment camps.