By Matthew Cooke

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated…” That’s the 4th Amendment in our bill of rights.

During the Colonial era, the King of England looked at the American colonies as a financial investment. And so, Britain passed numerous revenue collection bills aimed at generating as much money from the colonists as possible. So those who got desperate started smuggling in an underground black market to make the money that they needed to live. Sound familiar? So the king created more laws to allow his agents to enter someone’s property or home and forcibly interrogate any occupant to find out what sort of goods and licenses they were carrying, to find excuses for further taxes and levies. These searches and seizures were an egregious offense to the people of the colonies.

And in 1761, the famous lawyer James Otis who founding father John Adams called a “master of the laws of nature and nations,” referred to the legal regulations justifying these intrusions “the worst instrument of arbitrary power, the most destructive of liberty and the fundamental principles of law, that ever was found in a lawbook.” These “legal” violations of liberty became one of the major colonial grievances that lead to the revolutionary war and our independence which we now celebrate every 4th of July.

And so in our bill of rights we have the 4th Amendment: “The right of the people to be secure… against unreasonable searches and seizures.” And yet today, when one investigates these very same instrument of arbitrary power everywhere. And that’s what this video sets out to showcase.