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This blog is the work of an educated civilian, not of an expert in the fields discussed.

Friday, July 08, 2016

Third Amendment Case

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 a manner to be prescribed by law.
By chance, searched for "Third Amendment," and this post popped up. Contra the suggestion of another blog's discussion, I argued the text should be applied liberally. And, at any rate, it could be incorporated.  At the very least, appealing to U.S. v. Miller, state guard troops could be a form of "solider" under its terms.  This still probably would not arise that much though there were cases in our history where the federal government violated its terms.  

The Third Amendment is now and then raised but know of but one case where it was taken seriously when deciding the merits. This aside from citing it in passing for principles of privacy (Griswold) or limitation of the military power (Youngstown).  Since then, however, there seemed to be case where it might matter.  The case is cited in one of the links in my discussed and there has been a district court ruling rejecting the claim.  
“I hold that a municipal police officer is not a soldier for purposes of the Third Amendment,” Gordon wrote. “This squares with the purpose of the Third Amendment because this was not a military intrusion into a private home, and thus the intrusion is more effectively protected by the Fourth Amendment.”
Engblom v. Carey involved National Guardsmen, not  municipal police officers, though think it's possible to stretch the terms that far.  But, this opinion doesn't have to -- there are other constitutional protections, such as the Fourth Amendment ("seizure" of the "houses") that can be used. Also, taking over one's home for part of a day isn't really "quartering" though again maybe you can stretch it that far.

The Third Amendment is basically a preventive device to show what cannot be done while alluding to principles of privacy and civilian control that can inform other issues. Scenarios, especially in wartime or times not "of peace," where it can come up is also conceivable. One can think of, e.g., an extended period of unrest where the government wants to take over a house for some reason. Or, do so during a war of some sort without proper authority.

But, it looks like we will continue to have the Third Amendment page in this collection being rather (a tad too) brief. 

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Thanks for your .02!