Personal Injury

Debating the Rule of Law

Take Action! —Searching the Home of Dollree Mapp

1. The Dollree Mapp case demonstrates that individuals have a right to privacy and that police may not conduct searches without a warrant. In general, if police obtain evidence from an illegal search and seizure, the evidence may not be used in court. However, the rule of law has many exceptions, including here. Read about the Exclusionary Rule. What is its purpose? What are the exceptions to the exclusionary rule? Review the Supreme Court's decision in Arizona v. Evans on the exclusionary rule. Do you agree with the Court's decision? Why or why not? What does this tell you about the importance of judicial interpretation in the application of the rule of law?

2. Do you think that the Fourth Amendment should protect students in public schools as it protects adults in society? Why or why not? Investigate the "rule of law" regarding search and seizure as it applies to school students by reading New Jersey v. T.L.O.. With a group of students, make up some scenarios in which school administrators are conducting different kinds of student searches for a variety of reasons. Then debate whether the exclusionary rule should apply to each. When each debate concludes, take a vote to see which arguments the students in your class think would prevail at the Supreme Court.

3. Ever since educators introduced online activities for completion by students both inside and outside school, cases involving related legal issues have been appearing in the courts. Some seem headed for the Supreme Court. Find out about these cases and the public debate surrounding them by investigating juvenile Internet rights Under the First Amendment and Under the Fourth Amendment. Relate what you learn to your educational situation. How might the outcome of the public debate affect your right to free expression as a student? Your right to privacy?

Student Central | Students in Action | Debating the Rule of Law
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*Searching the Home of Dollree Mapp*