Erin Andrews Peephole and the Constitutional Right to Privacy

Do You Have a Constitutional Right to Privacy?

Senator Rick Santorum caused a brouhaha when, during an Associated Press interview, he defended laws against sodomy — saying that permitting sodomy is as good as saying polygamy, incest, and adultery should be permitted.

This provoked a firestorm — and that caused a far more troubling Santorum statement to be overlooked. He said:

It all comes from, I would argue, this right to privacy that doesn’t exist in my opinion in the United States Constitution . . .

Is there a right to privacy in the Constitution?

The U. S. Constitution contains no express right to privacy. The Bill of Rights, however, reflects the concern of James Madison and other framers for protecting specific aspects of privacy, such as the privacy of beliefs (1st Amendment), privacy of the home against demands that it be used to house soldiers (3rd Amendment), privacy of the person and possessions as against unreasonable searches (4th Amendment), and the 5th Amendment’s privilege against self-incrimination, which provides protection for the privacy of personal information. In addition, the Ninth Amendment states that the “enumeration of certain rights” in the Bill of Rights “shall not be construed to deny or disparage other rights retained by the people.” The meaning of the Ninth Amendment is elusive, but some persons (including Justice Goldberg in his Griswold concurrence) have interpreted the Ninth Amendment as justification for broadly reading the Bill of Rights to protect privacy in ways not specifically provided in the first eight amendments.

Erin Andrews and the Peephole Peeping Tom

In show business people overstep the bounds of privacy all the time. But, as some court cases have said, there remains some modicum of expectations of areas that are still not crossed. Normally these are a right to not be filmed at a persons home with long range cameras, or pictures taken in the privacy of a person’s home with a telephoto lens, or even flying over someone’s yard and doing such. The courts have strongly drawn a boundary line, where children of famous people, are concerned .

For ESPN reporter Erin Andrews, some have continued to overstep such boundaries. It was reported over the weekend that someone recorded a video through the peep hole of Andrews’ hotel room without her consent or knowledge, of her unclothed. The video was removed from the internet shortly after it was posted, but cached video clips remain widely available.

A statement has been made by her legal team. This morning, Marshall B. Grossman of Bingham McCutchen LLP issued the following statement:

“While alone in the privacy of her hotel room, Erin Andrews was surreptitiously videotaped without her knowledge or consent. She was the victim of a crime and is taking action to protect herself and help ensure that others are not similarly violated in the future. Although the perpetrator or perpetrators of this criminal act have not yet been identified, when they are identified she intends to bring both civil and criminal charges against them and against anyone who has published the material. We request respect of Erin’s privacy at this time, while she and her representatives are working with the authorities.”

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UPDATE: Do not try and download the video. It is now a huge virus. By the end of the first hour of the video release and being taken off by Erin’s legal team, the hackers had made the residual videos into a virus and mass produced it on all “those” type of sites. You have been warned. Oh but here you got, here’s something good to look at.

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Ex law school student. I was kicked out for revealing I had a heart actually beating inside. I used to be in a modern dance company. I'm working on my 7 miracles to be proclaimed a saint by the pope. #1 is really hard, but once i get over that hump the other 6 will be a cinch.

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