In 1984, the Supreme Court ruled that the Fourth Amendment’s protections against warrantless searches do not apply to “open fields.” Which means that government agents can jump over fences, ignore No Trespassing signs, and roam private land at will. There are no limits. On this episode, we talk to Richard and Linda Thornton, whose property in rural Maine was at the center of the case. And we ask: Can the Founders really have thought the Constitution did not protect private woods, fields, farms, and more from warrantless invasions?

Click here for transcript.

Oliver v. United States 

Hester v. United States


Richard and Linda Thornton

Laura Donohue, Georgetown Law

Josh Windham, Institute for Justice

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