The Fourth Amendment Goes to War

19 Pages Posted: 14 Oct 2009

See all articles by Robert J. Delahunty

Robert J. Delahunty

University of St. Thomas School of Law (Minnesota)

Date Written: October 14, 2009


In October 2001 - not quite six weeks after the 9/11 attacks on the United States - the Office of Legal Counsel in the Justice Department prepared an opinion on the question (among others) of whether the Warrant Clause of the Fourth Amendment would apply to domestic military operations against later such attacks inside the United States. The opinion concluded that it would not. The present writer was one of the co-authors of that opinion. The opinion was released in March 2009 by the new Administration's Justice Department, and was immediately subjected to a barrage of criticism in the media. This article answers those criticisms and defends the opinion's conclusions.

Keywords: constitutional law, warrant clause, fourth amendment, search and seizure, law of war

Suggested Citation

Delahunty, Robert J., The Fourth Amendment Goes to War (October 14, 2009). Engage, August 2009 , U of St. Thomas Legal Studies Research Paper No. 09-20, Available at SSRN:

Robert J. Delahunty (Contact Author)

University of St. Thomas School of Law (Minnesota) ( email )

MSL 400, 1000 La Salle Avenue
Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 55403-2005
United States

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