By Ryan S. Walters
“A man’s house is his castle; and whilst he is quiet, he is as well guarded as a prince in his castle. This writ, if it should be declared legal, would totally annihilate this privilege. Custom-house officers may enter our houses when they please; we are commanded to permit their entry. Their menial servants may enter, may break locks, bars, and everything in their way; and whether they break through malice or revenge, no man, no court may inquire.” - James Otis, arguing against British writs of assistance in Boston, 1761
The concept of private property, and being safe within the confines of our own homes, is one of the pillars of strength that supports our free republic and is something unique in the annals of world history. It’s one of the main features of our constitutional system that separates us from brutal totalitarian dictatorships, where there is no regard for citizens or their property. Colonial experience with the British, who could search and seize where they pleased, caused the Founders to implement tight controls on the rights of government over private property.
But now that sacred American right is not as safe as it once was because the Fourth Amendment, which protects our property rights, as well as many of our civil rights, is being steadily eroded every day by the government at every level. [Read more...]