Fourth Amendment

June 15, 2000

The fourth amendment has been in the news quite a bit lately. In case, you don't remember which amendment it is, let me read it. "The right of the people to be secure in their person, 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."

It's one of the first ten amendments known as the Bill of Rights. The framers of the Constitution added these quickly after the adoption of the Constitution because they feared the very thing that has been taking place in America. They feared that the President would begin to use the military or law enforcement as his praetorian guard.

The fourth amendment was written so that you and your family could be secure in your home and not be subject to constant and unreasonable searches and seizures. It is a guarantee that your rights would not be trampled by tyranny.

One of the reasons the fourth amendment has been in the news is due to the INS raid on April 22 (2000) in Miami. Add to that other places names like Waco and Ruby Ridge. It's also in the news because a drug bill is making its way through Congress that would effectively nullify parts of the fourth amendment.

Last week the Wall Street Journal published a lead editorial entitled "Congress and the Fourth Amendment," effectively chastising Congress for inaction on this important issue. Not only is Congress not investigating the April 22 raid, it's about to passage legislation that could undermine the fourth amendment. Maybe it's time to go remind ourselves how important this amendment is to our lives.

I'm Kerby Anderson of Probe Ministries, and that's my opinion.