Right to Privacy
Discussion and Essay Questions
Available to teachers only as part of the Teaching the Right to PrivacyTeacher Pass
Teaching the Right to Privacy Teacher Pass includes:
- Assignments & Activities
- Reading Quizzes
- Current Events & Pop Culture articles
- Discussion & Essay Questions
- Challenges & Opportunities
- Related Readings in Literature & History
Sample of Discussion and Essay Questions
- Is There a Right to Privacy?
- Privacy Torts
- How do people most commonly seek redress when they believe that their privacy has been violated?
- What is a tort?
- Are most torts heard in criminal or civil trials?
- What is the difference?
- Why do you suppose people can usually only seek civil remedies for violations of their privacy?
- Does the Fourth Amendment hamstring the police?
- Do the exceptions allowing for warrantless searches provide police the flexibility they need to do their job?
- Or are these exceptions too generous?
- According to the Katz ruling, privacy rights must be respected wherever and whenever people have a reasonable expectation of privacy. A warrant must be obtained in order to violate this privacy.
- Does this seem reasonable, or excessive?
- What level of privacy should a person be able to expect in a public place?
- Should the police have to obtain a warrant to tap a public phone?
- Can a whispered conversation in a restaurant booth be taped without a warrant?
- What exactly are “penumbras?” What was Justice Douglas saying about the Bill of Rights?
- Is this a logical or problematic concept?
- What “zone of privacy” or “penumbras” do you see emanating from the Fourth Amendment?
- "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated."
- Is there a “zone of privacy” or “penumbras” emanating from the First Amendment?
- "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."
- Answer these questions from a strict constructionist point of view.
- Now answer them using the broadest possible construction of these constitutional amendments.