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Katz v. United States

Significance, The Pros And Cons Of Wiretapping


Charles Katz


United States

Petitioner's Claim

That evidence obtained by a wiretap on a public phone violated the Fourth Amendment's prohibition of unreasonable search and seizure and should have been ruled inadmissible.

Chief Lawyers for Petitioner

Harvey A. Schneider and Burton Marks

Chief Lawyer for Respondent

John S. Martin, Jr.

Justices for the Court

William J. Brennan, Jr., William O. Douglas, Abe Fortas, John Marshall Harlan II, Thurgood Marshall, Potter Stewart (writing for the Court), Earl Warren, Byron R. White

Justices Dissenting

Hugo Lafayette Black


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

17 October 1967


Placing a wiretap on a public phone violates the Fourth Amendment.

Related Cases

  • Olmstead v. United States, 277 U.S. 438 (1928).
  • Beck v. Ohio, 379 U.S. 89 (1964).
  • United States v. U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, 407 U.S. 297 (1972).
  • Arkansas v. Sanders, 442 U.S. 753 (1979).
  • California v. Ciraolo, 476 U.S. 207 (1986).
  • California v. Greenwood, 486 U.S. 35 (1988).


Levy, Leonard W., ed. Encyclopedia of the American Constitution. New York: Macmillan, 1986.

Further Readings

  • Ferguson, Robert W. Legal Aspects of Evidence. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1978.
  • Friedman, Phillip. Inadmissible Evidence. New York: Ivy Books, 1993.
  • Landynski, Jacob W. The Living U.S. Constitution. New York: New American Library, 1983.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1963 to 1972