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Yoo contradicts language of amendment

Re “U.S. Spying Is Much Wider, Some Suspect,” Dec. 25

John Yoo’s interpretation of the 4th Amendment -- that warrantless searches are permitted if they are undertaken to protect national security or are not inherently unreasonable -- clearly contradicts the language of the amendment: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

There is no exception for national security. The amendment defines a reasonable search as one based on a warrant supported by probable cause and specificity as to what is to be searched or seized. In other words, a warrantless search is inherently unreasonable.

JOSEPH KAUFMAN

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Mission Viejo


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