Remember what “the right to privacy” meant when it really meant something important?

Once upon a time this was the understanding of the “right to privacy” in the US.  We should be reminded of what we have acquiesced in giving up, not what we have decided to have taken from us:

Justice Brandeis famously said in Olmstead v. U.S., 277 U.S. 438, 479 (1928), “The makers of our Constitution undertook to secure conditions favorable to the pursuit of happiness. They recognized the significance of man’s spiritual nature, of his feelings and of his intellect. They knew that only a part of the pain, pleasure and satisfactions of life are to be found in material things. They sought to protect Americans in their beliefs, their thoughts, their emotions and their sensations. They conferred, as against the government, the right to be let alone-the most comprehensive of rights and the right most valued by civilized men. To protect, that right, every unjustifiable intrusion by the government upon the privacy of the individual, whatever the means employed, must be deemed a violation of the Fourth Amendment. And the use, as evidence in a criminal proceeding, of facts ascertained by such intrusion must be deemed a violation of the Fifth.” Plainly put, at its heart a right to privacy is simply a right to be let alone.”

The entire Jonathan Turley blog guest post by Gene Howington is worth your attention.

Cynical as I am now about such issues, I think that enumerated or unenumerated, the contemporary executive branch will do as it pleases.

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