IntroductionDuring the colonial period, the practice of stationing British forces in private houses was prevalent. Given the apprehension that existed between the colonial citizens and British soldiers, this was an intolerable situation that the Founding Fathers did not aspire to happen again.
Accordingly, in the Declaration of Independence, one of the protests against King George III was for billeting enormous number of armed troops amongst American homes (“Third Amendment Law & Legal Definition”). On September 25, 1789, the Third Amendment of the Constitution was one of the 12 amendments presented by the First Congress to the States; and on December 15, 1791 it was one of the ten amendments that were ratified. The aforesaid amendment is then integrated to what is now collectively acknowledged as the Bill of Rights (Silversmith). The Third Amendment expressly declares that: “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” (Silversmith).
Legal Analysis of the Third AmendmentThe Third Amendment laid down two fundamental requirements during its ratification on 1791. The first requirement states that in times of peace, the military are not allowed to quarter its troops in private residences without the permission of the owners; and the second posits that in times of war, the military are not allowed to quarter its troops in private residences except in conformity with acknowledged legal procedure (“Third Amendment”). By introducing these restrictions on the private quartering of armed troops, the Third Amendment lowers military authority to civilian power, as well as safeguards civilians against exploitations that can be carried out by professional soldiers and standing armies. However, the Third Amendment has not been able to establish a concrete legal definition mainly because throughout the United States history, the amendment has generated little litigation.
Despite the fact that the Supreme Court has referred to protections against the quartering of soldiers as a basis for the legal right to privacy, yet the Court never had the opportunity to settle on a case based exclusively on the Third Amendment. In addition, without much debate, lower federal courts normally reject Third Amendment claims. Related Cases of Third AmendmentAmong the sections of the Constitutions, the Third Amendment has demonstrated to be one of the sections that received the least legal action. Although the amendment is not so well acknowledged by modern Americans, this law was exceptionally significant to the country’s Founders.
Lately, under no circumstances did the Supreme Court have explicitly assessed the significance of the amendment. In fact, merely one court has ever tackled the amendment’s meaning, which was a case decided almost two centuries following its ratification. The case of Engblom v. Carey, 677 F.
2d. (2d Cir. 1982), developed when correction officers were driven out from their facility-residence and, without their acquiescence, National Guard members were quartered in their residences (“The Third Amendment”). Consequently, the correction officers carried out a statewide strike.
In the end, however, the District Court held that because at the time of the strike the Third Amendment right of the officers had not been evidently ascertained, the defendants were protected by a qualified immunity from suit; moreover, the Second Circuit sustained this decision (Silversmith). In passing, the Third Amendment has been quoted in other cases, most especially the Supreme Court’s decision in Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S.
479, 484 (1965), where the issue was focused on the conflicting opinions on constitutional right to privacy. In other cases, courts have referred to the Third Amendment as confirmation that the Constitution carefully differentiates times of peace and times of war. In addition, because of the amendment’s triviality and obscurity, it was exploited in Jones v. United States Secretary of Defense, 346 F.
Supp. 97 (D. Minn. 1972), where the Army reservists commanded to march during a parade had, as an alternative, a Third Amendment right to sit out (Silversmith).
Recently, the dissent in Poe v. Ullman made use of the Third Amendment as one of the several amendments indicative of a constitutional right to privacy, a function the Third Amendment has regularly carried out ever since. On top, during judicial expositions the amendment has served as a support on constitutional interpretation, cases that principally suggest how certain freedoms have dwindled into virtual insignificance. Nonetheless, the Third Amendment highlights the Constitutional restrictions on military function in civilian affairs (U.
S. Constitution: Third Amendment”). In other words, it emphasizes that civilian power is greater than military authority. ConclusionThe hazard of quartering that appeared so pressing to the Founding Fathers seems to be out-of-the-way to the present society.
Other amendments in the Bill of Rights of United States Constitution encourage dimensions of legal research and public admiration, yet the Third Amendment endures in proportional oblivion. Moreover, the limited attention that it does receive more often than not is unsuccessful to serve it well, as lawyers bend it to fit pointless assertions, academics downgrade it to footnotes, and the popular press subjects it to mockery. The Third Amendment, in essence, has played the role of a non-talking cast on the judicial stage. However, the deep roots of Third Amendment in English law reveal the foundations of American legacy.
Its beginning coils all the way through early American history, defining the causes of the Revolution along with the struggle to establish the definitive content of the Constitution’s Bill of Rights. Works CitedSilversmith, Jol. “A Brief History of the Third Amendment.” May 2000.
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