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Tonja Hoskinson Phase 5 American Government Essay

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Tonja Hoskinson
Phase 5 Individual Project
American Government
Professor Boyd
Colorado Technical University
March 25, 2013

The United States Constitution is a document that gives certain rights and liberties to American citizens. Within this historic document is a set of 10 amendments guaranteeing specific rights to each individual. They are collectively known as the Bill of Rights, it protects civil liberties and grants certain legal protection to those accused of a crime. But, this powerful document has several centuries old historical documents from the United Kingdom,s establishing rights for individual citizens. The idea for the 4th Amendment is not uniquely American; it has its origins in English Law. In 1604, the Semaynis Case recognized that citizens of the kingdom had the right to be protected against unlawful search and seizure. The case set a precedent in English law and was used as basis in the creation of the Bill of Right( 2013). The Semaynis Case, was when Sir Edward Coke, famously declared “The house of everyone is to him as his castle and fortress, as well for his defense against injury and violence as for his repose” (Trueman,2008-2013). This case established in English law that even the king must acknowledge he did not have limitless power over his subjects. The case did recognize that the government was permitted to conduct a search and seizure with a lawfully issued search warrant.Prior to this the king and Parliament would issue “Writs of Assistance”, these broad scope search warrants, basically eliminated all personal and property rights. The search and seizure law was eventually refined, but unlike our 4th Amendment and Bill of Rights Britain is a member of the European Human Rights Commission and follows the 1998 Human Rights Bill. The Human Right Bill was originally put in place in 1950, but was revised and additional countries added in 1998 ( . The original idea behind this long standing protection was to protect the citizens from the government; eventually the judiciary of America and Britain started applying it to all authoriti...

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