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University of Michigan Law School

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1999

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Recovering The Original Fourth Amendment, Thomas Y. Davies Dec 1999

Recovering The Original Fourth Amendment, Thomas Y. Davies

Michigan Law Review

Claims regarding the original or intended meaning of constitutional texts are commonplace in constitutional argument and analysis. All such claims are subject to an implicit validity criterion - only historically authentic assertions should matter. The rub is that the original meaning commonly attributed to a constitutional text may not be authentic. The historical Fourth Amendment is a case in point. If American judges, lawyers, or law teachers were asked what the Framers intended when they adopted the Fourth Amendment, they would likely answer that the Framers intended that all searches and seizures conducted by government officers must be reasonable given the ...