Signed, Sealed, Delivered 1878

While the Supreme Court case Ex Parte Jackson was not a victory for Samuel Jackson, it was a win for Americans’ right to privacy in communications. After being convicted of illegally mailing lottery tickets, Jackson questioned the constitutionality of Congress’s censorship of the mail. Justices ruled that Congress can control what is sent in the mail, but that these regulations must follow the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition of “unreasonable searches and seizures.”

The Supreme Court declared that, “no law of Congress can place in the hands of officials connected with the postal service any authority to invade the secrecy of letters.” This decision specified that the government cannot invade the privacy of one’s letters and packages without a warrant.