To identify and evaluate the main political conflicts over the constitutional interpretation of individual civil liberties and rights.
The paper is on the constitutionality of the privacy right. Investigate how lawyers interpret the U.S. Constitution when it comes to protecting the citizens’ privacy. Identify specifically which Constitutional amendments are applicable in this debate. Here is a list of specific questions for you to consider when writing the paper.
1. Constitutional Interpretation of the Privacy Right. Are U.S. citizens entitled to privacy? What does the U.S. Constitution say about privacy? How did the right to privacy evolve? Study the case Olmstead v. United States (1928) and the Justice Brandeis’ argument on the losing side. Based on the case Mapp v Ohio (1961) explain what the concept of the “exclusionary rule” has to do with the right to privacy. Study the following cases Griswold v. Connecticut (1965); Roe v. Wade (1973); and Lawrence v Texas (2003) to explain how they reinforced the constitutional basis for the right to privacy. Referencing the above mentioned cases demonstrate the evolution of the right to privacy.
2. Privacy Right in Public Places.
a) How does the interpretation of the right to privacy change in public places? Identify a couple of landmark cases related to the citizens’ privacy right in public places; explain their significance. Explain the “reasonable expectation of privacy” concept.
b) In the fall of 2012, U.S. Supreme Court ruled on the issue whether the use of a GPS device constitutes a “search” (United States v. Jones ). What arguments did both sides of the case make in the court? What Constitutional Amendments were brought into the argument? As our technology changes, should our expectations change? (Please, stay away from spending too much time discussing technology itself, instead focus on its implications on the U.S. legal system).
Explain the differences in the judges’ ruling in the case United States v. Jones (2012). What is the significance of the case?
3. Research public attitudes towards the privacy rights. Have there been any changes in the public attitudes towards privacy rights? In what direction is our society moving when it comes to the issue of privacy? Do you consider former US National Security Agency’s contractor Snowden a hero/whistleblower or a traitor?