National Affairs: Your House & Mine

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated. . . .

Ever since the Fourth Amendment was ratified, the question has been argued: When is a search reasonable? Last week the Supreme Court, by a 5-to-4 decision, drew a shaky line. The case was that of George Harris, a petty criminal of Oklahoma City. FBI agents had warrants for his arrest for suspected forgery. They seized him in his four-room apartment, then searched the whole apartment for two concealed checks. They never found them. Instead, after...

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