The Arizona “Private Affairs” Clause

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Timothy Sandefur

The Arizona Constitution says “No person shall be disturbed in his private affairs, or his home invaded, without authority of law.” This language is notably different from that used in the federal Constitution’s Fourth Amendment and analogous provisions in other state constitutions. It is found in only one other constitution: that of Washington State, from which it was copied, and where courts have developed a robust and protective Private Affairs jurisprudence. Yet Arizona courts have not done the same. On the contrary, despite repeatedly acknowledging that the Arizona Constitution can and should protect a broader range of rights than the federal Constitution, they have largely failed to give effect to that principle and have so far developed virtually no significant protections of private affairs that differ from federal protections.

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