The word privacy doesn’t appear once in the text of the U.S. Constitution. Nevertheless, lawmakers and the Supreme Court have repeatedly insisted that Americans have a constitutional right to privacy because of the spirit behind certain constitutional amendments. It’s a slippery business. Exactly how privacy came to be recognized as a constitutional right is a complicated story that touches on the civil rights movement, the war on crime, the women’s movement, and the crusade against communism.
Privacy is not dead in the United States, but it does seem to be circling the drain. This talk will familiarize participants with the basics of their constitutional right to privacy and examine the key legal cases that eventually led to privacy’s recognition as a constitutional right in the twentieth century.