Constitution Countdown: Fourth Amendment

Photo by Andre Rowlett.

The Constitution Day, September 17, is the anniversary of the day in 1787 when the United States Constitution was signed. Though the Bill of Rights was not ratified until 1791, Sidelines will be breaking down one of the first ten amendments each day between now and September 17.

The Amendment:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

The Meaning:

The fourth amendment allows citizens the protective right against unnecessary searches or arrest.

The Effect:

The fourth amendment guarantees that citizens will not be searched or detained without a warrant or reasonable suspicion. Though the law allows exceptions during cases of P.A.C.E (Plain sight, Arrest, Consent, or Emergency) circumstances, the fourth amendment protects citizens from being unfairly or excessively searched or detained. This amendment protects citizens from having to consent to searches of their personal property without warrant and also protects from arrest or detainment without justifiable cause.

For more Constitution Countdown, follow us at, on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines and on Twitter at @MTSUSidelines.

To contact news editor Sarah Grace Taylor, email

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