Study Guide

Right to Privacy Quotes

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"Now the right to life has come to mean the right to enjoy life, -- the right to be let alone."

Samuel Warren and Louis Brandeis, 1890.

"Specific guarantees in the Bill of Rights have penumbras, formed by emanations from those guarantees that help give them life and substance. Various guarantees create zones of privacy. . . . The Third Amendment, in its prohibition against the quartering of soldiers 'in any house' in time of peace without the consent of the owner, is another facet of that privacy. The Fourth Amendment explicitly affirms the 'right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.' The Fifth Amendment, in its Self-Incrimination Clause, enables the citizen to create a zone of privacy which government may not force him to surrender to his detriment. The Ninth Amendment provides: 'The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.'"

United States Supreme Court in Griswold v. Connecticut, 1965.

"As the Court's opinion states, 'the Fourth Amendment protects people, not places.' The question, however, is what protection it affords to those people. Generally, as here, the answer to that question requires reference to a 'place.' My understanding of the rule that has emerged from prior decisions is that there is a twofold requirement, first that a person have exhibited an actual (subjective) expectation of privacy and, second, that the expectation be one that society is prepared to recognize as 'reasonable.'"

Justice John Marshall Harlan, on Katz v. United States, 1967.

"This right of privacy, whether it be founded in the Fourteenth Amendment's concept of personal liberty and restrictions upon state action, as we feel it is, or, as the District Court determined, in the Ninth Amendment's reservation of rights to the people, is broad enough to encompass a woman's decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy."

United States Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade, 1973.

"[The Fourth Amendment's framers] had a specific principle of privacy at work in the Fourth Amendment. It was privacy in your home and in your office from search by the government. That is not just a broad ranging right of privacy you can apply anywhere. Now, [Justice William] Douglas made up a right of privacy that's attached to nothing."

Robert Bork, 2003.

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