November 4, 2009 (All day)

A Knock at the Door: Three Centuries of Governmental Search and Seizure
Wednesday, November 4, 2009 - 6:30 p.m.
at the Old State House in Boston, Massachusetts
Free and open to the public

The protection against unreasonable governmental search and seizure has long been considered a fundamental American right. This concept has its roots in patriot James Otis’s 1761 legal petition opposing the Writs of Assistance and general property searches, a case heard in Old State House.

Even though guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, this right has been challenged and debated many times throughout our history. Today we are confronted with new debates over wiretapping, immigration raids, and school drug searches.
Join our panelists, public historian J.L. Bell, legal scholars Frederick Lane and Joseph McEttrick, and Kurt Opsahl, in a discussion of the historical origins of this concept, as well as modern challenges to this long-cherished protection of our rights.

The program is made possible by the Lowell Institute.