What the Forgotten Amendment Represents
It’s been said on this blog before, and it is now being said again. The golden age of podcasts has ushered in a new golden age of true crime storytelling. Multiple media outlets are researching cold cases in an effort to finally solve them. The podcast to spark this renaissance – Serial – just launched its third season this week, and it already proves to be a return to greatness for that series.
There is something else that regular readers of this blog know -- the more educated the populace is, the better. This is especially true when it comes to our nation’s, our commonwealth’s, and our city’s or county’s laws. All of these podcasts – available to you for free – provide a fun way to learn what you need to know.
Which leads to More Perfect. More Perfect is a WNYC podcast that tells stories about the Supreme Court. They just started a new season this past week that is going to focus on each of 27 amendments to the United States Constitution, including the Third Amendment – also known as the Forgotten Amendment.
What Is the Third Amendment?
Here is the text of the Third Amendment: “No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in manner to be prescribed by law.” It doesn’t seem to apply to us much anymore, does it?
When you read the actual words of this amendment, you may think about muskets and redcoats. Indeed, that is the era from which this comes. Even though our military has bases and forts, this right of citizens still remains in the Constitution. No soldier can force his way into your home to stay.
How Was the Third Amendment Challenged?
In 2013, the Henderson, Nevada police forced their way into the Mitchell family home. They wanted to use the home as a lookout over a neighboring home. The family refused to allow the police in, so the family was arrested.
The case was resolved two years later. The Mitchell family claimed that their Third Amendment rights had been violated since the police were attempting to use their home for their work. In their opinions, it felt like “forced quartering.” Unfortunately for them, the courts disagreed.
What Are the Implications of This for Us?
Before you read this (or maybe heard the same More Perfect podcast episode), did you know that soldiers could not take over your home as shelter? Sure, this does not typically happen today, but did you even know that it legally cannot?
Have you stood next to a police officer recently? Have you noticed how well-armed he was? If the spectrum ranges from Andy Griffith in Mayberry to a modern soldier, which one did the police officer more closely resemble?
Maybe you did not know your Third Amendment rights. What about things that apply more often to your life? If you are pulled over while driving and an officer asks to search your car, do you have to let him? What if an officer knocks on your front door? Are you required to let him into your home?
These are things that you need to know. The time to learn them is now. You have so many avenues – directly (by researching on your own) or indirectly (hearing about it in a podcast, for instance). Don’t wait until it is too late. If, however, you are already in need of a defense attorney, call or e-mail today for a free consultation!
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