Foundation for Economic Education: Who Was the Founding Father of the Fourth Amendment? by Gary M. Galles:
February 5  marks the birth of the American who had the greatest hand in what became the 4th Amendment’s prohibition of unreasonable searches and seizures – James Otis. Unfortunately, “one of the most passionate and effective protectors of American rights” is too-little remembered today.
Otis’ efforts applied the celebrated English maxim, “Every man’s house is his castle” – or, as William Pitt said in Parliament in 1763, that “The poorest man may in his cottage bid defiance to all the force of the crown” – to the colonies, in resistance to Crown-created writs of assistance. They were broad search warrants enabling customs officials to enter any business or home without advance notice, probable cause, or reason, which Otis asserted were unconstitutional.
The Writs of Assistance Case, Paxton’s Case, was argued in the Boston State House on February 24, 1761 when he was 35. February 24th is also the anniversary of this blog. I’ve written about that case at least a half dozen times in the last 14 years.