1928 June 4

Historic Louis Brandeis Dissent About Privacy: “Olmstead v. United States”

 

The case of Olmstead v. United States, decided on this day, involved the appeal of a bootlegger who had been convicted in part on the basis of wiretap evidence. The Court upheld his conviction 5 to 4, but Justice Louis Brandeis delivered a historic dissent that articulated a constitutional right to privacy. Brandeis’ opinion came 37 years before the Supreme Court finally affirmed a constitutional right to privacy in Griswold v. Connecticut on June 7, 1965.

With co-author Samuel Warren, Louis Brandeis published the first-ever article on “The Right to Privacy” in the Harvard Law Review on December 15, 1890.

Justice Brandeis: “The makers of our Constitution undertook to secure conditions favorable to the pursuit of happiness. . . . 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.”

Learn more about privacy today at the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse: https://www.privacyrights.org/

Learn more about Justice Brandeis: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjT53pbk1Tk

And more about Prohibition: Lisa McGirr, The War on Alcohol: Prohibition and the Rise of the American State (2015)

Learn more about the Olmstead  Case: http://www.fjc.gov/history/home.nsf/page/tu_olmstead_background.html

Find a Day

Go
Abortion Rights ACLU african-americans Alice Paul anti-communism Anti-Communist Hysteria Birth Control Brown v. Board of Education Censorship CIA Civil Rights Civil Rights Act of 1964 Cold War Espionage Act FBI First Amendment Fourteenth Amendment freedom of speech Free Speech Gay Rights Hate Speech homosexuality Hoover, J. Edgar HUAC Japanese American Internment King, Dr. Martin Luther Ku Klux Klan Labor Unions Lesbian and Gay Rights Loyalty Oaths McCarthy, Sen. Joe New York Times Obscenity Police Misconduct Same-Sex Marriage Separation of Church and State Sex Discrimination Smith Act Spying Spying on Americans Vietnam War Voting Rights Voting Rights Act of 1965 War on Terror Watergate White House Women's Rights Women's Suffrage World War I World War II Relocation Camps

Topics

Tell Us What You Think

We want to hear your comments, criticisms and suggestions!