Does the NSA Violate Your Constitutional Rights? | Learn Liberty

Many people don’t know what their constitutional
freedoms are or why they have them in the first place. They’ve gotten so used to the
freedoms they’ve enjoyed as Americans that they haven’t noticed just how rare and fragile
they really are. Before America’s founding, the British king
George III would issue what were called general warrants, which empowered local authorities
to look for wrongdoing anywhere and to use their discretion to find any kind of treasonous
behavior, including among the people that would come to be our Founders. But this became
such an abuse of dictatorial authority that after the Revolutionary War a prohibition
on general warrants was written right into the United States Constitution. It’s there
in the Fourth Amendment, prohibiting general warrants and requiring warrants to have probable
cause and limiting them to specific places, times, and people. Why is this protection important? Because
with unlimited authority, officials inevitably find wrongdoing. Remember, witch hunts always
find witches. Inquisitions always find blasphemers. And majorities will often repress minorities
if they can. Constitutional protections like the Fourth
Amendment serve the minorities in particular, people who think differently or want to read
or listen to different music or associate in ways that the majority doesn’t. The freedom
we Americans enjoy to find our own paths to happiness are enabled by these protections.
In America we want no kings, we want no masters. We just want free and equal citizens who are
allowed to pursue their own paths to happiness.

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