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See also Search and seizure and all its subcategories. The constitutional amendment, ratified with the Bill of Rights in 1791. 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 classic exposition of the purposes and importance of the warrant requirement is to be found in the opinion of Mr. Justice Jackson in his opinion for the Court in Johnson v. United States, 333 U. S. 10, 333 U. S. 13-14 (1948): 'The point of the Fourth Amendment, which often is not grasped by zealous officers, is not that it denies law enforcement the support of the usual inferences which reasonable men draw from evidence. Its protection consists in requiring that those inferences be drawn by a neutral and detached magistrate instead of being judged by the officer engaged in the often competitive enterprise of ferreting out crime. . . . The right of officers to thrust themselves into a home is ...

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