Thursday, November 29, 2018
The Arizona Constitution provides that “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, or to analogous provisions in other state constitutions. The language 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 despite their recognition that the state Constitution can and should protect a broader range of rights than the federal Constitution does, Arizona courts have largely failed to appreciate or give effect to the significance of these differences.
In this article, I review the relevant history and text, to explain why and how the Arizona constitutional privacy right must be interpreted more expansively than the Fourth Amendment--and, at a minimum, in line with Washington state law.