3rd Amendment – what does that mean?

The First 10 Amendments to the U.S. Constitution are known as the Bill of Rights.  There is often discussion and debate about what these amendments mean. Without bringing a political view and without giving legal advice, below is the text of the 3rd Amendment and some commentary on it.

Amendment III: No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.”

This Amendment does not really come up in the court system, as it was really a response to British soldiers taking quarter (housing themselves) in private residences during the American Revolution.

The one court case that addresses this Amendment is Englbom v. Carey. Striking correctional facility employees were removed from employee housing to house the National Guardsmen who had been activated to perform some of their duties. The U.S. Court of Appeals upheld this Amendment.

There have been some claims regarding police officers using a private residence, however in 2015 the U.S. Federal Court has ruled that municipal police are not considered soldiers.

While this Amendment is not often needed, it is important to remember why this Amendment was written.


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