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Can the Third Amendment Act as a Bulwark Against the Surveillance State?

The Third Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads as follows: “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.”

The amendment was the American response to laws that the British parliament had passed compelling the colonies to house British soldiers. It is one of the least controversial amendments and is rarely litigated.

So far, it has never been the primary basis of a Supreme Court decision.

But a recent paper by a North Carolina law professor may breathe new life into the Third Amendment by arguing that it should be read in harmony with the Fourth Amendment to shield against government tyranny in the form of “cybersoldiers” who use technology to station themselves in our homes, perpetually, without ever stepping foot inside.

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