Should the government be able to restrict who you can marry?
Should a person be allowed to use contraceptives?
Should women have access to abortions?
Should parents be permitted to have their child taught a foreign language?
Should school principals be allowed to strip-search students?
Should high school coaches be allowed to drug test their athletes?
The courts have found the answers to these questions in the Bill of Rights. They have found answers here, in the First Amendment: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."
And here, in the Third Amendment: "No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law."
This clause in the Fourth Amendment has been crucial to the courts in sorting out these questions: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated."
This part of the Fifth Amendment has been important to the courts: "nor shall [any person] be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law."
The Ninth Amendment has also influenced the courts: "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."
And this clause in the Fourteenth Amendment has been critical: "nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law."
Do you see it? Do you see the right to privacy contained within the Constitution? Can you figure out the logic of the courts in answering questions about marital choice, procreation decisions, and student searches?
Read on and you will.