“. . . our holding that the exclusionary rule is an essential part of both the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments is not only the logical dictate of prior cases, but it also makes very good sense. There is no war between the Constitution and common sense.” 

Justice Thomas Clark, speaking for the majority

This case explores the legal concepts of due process and search and seizure.

Suspicious that Dollree Mapp might be hiding a person suspected in a bombing, the police demanded entrance to her home. Mapp refused to let them in because they did not have a warrant. The police later forced their way into her house. They were holding up a piece of paper, but when Mapp demanded to see their search warrant, they would not show it to her. As a result of their search, the police found a trunk containing pornographic materials. They arrested Mapp and charged her with violating an Ohio law against the possession of obscene materials. She was found guilty in court and sentenced to jail. After losing an appeal to the Ohio Supreme Court, Mapp took her case to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Court determined that evidence obtained through a search that violates the Fourth Amendment is inadmissible in state courts.



This section is for teachers.

Use the links below to access:

  • student versions of the activities in .PDF and Word formats
  • how to differentiate and adapt the materials
  • how to scaffold the activities
  • how to extend the activities
  • technology suggestions
  • answers to select activities  

About the Case


Learning Activities

The Case

After the Case


Teacher Resources

Teaching Strategies Used

Landmark Cases Glossary

The LandmarkCases.org glossary compiles all of the important vocab terms from case materials. It is provided as a view-only Google Sheet.

Glossary

Planning Time and Activities

If you have one day . . .

  • Read the background summary (•••, ••, •) and answer the questions.
  • If you have not introduced the Fourth Amendment, Complete Fourth Amendment Analysis.
  • Complete the Classifying Arguments Activity. Discuss which arguments the students find most convincing.
  • For homework, have students read the Key Excerpts from the Majority Opinion, Key Excerpts from the Concurring Opinion, and Key Excerpts from the Dissenting Opinion answer the questions. Follow-up the next day by reviewing the questions with students.

If you have two days . . .

  • Complete the activities for the first day (excluding homework). 
  • Complete Judicial Opinion Writing Activity.
  • For homework, have students read the Key Excerpts from the Majority Opinion, Key Excerpts from the Concurring Opinion, and Key Excerpts from the Dissenting Opinion answer the questions. Follow-up the next day by reviewing the questions with students.

If you have three days . . .

Note to teachers: We recommend that you invite a community resource person, such as a police officer, judge, or lawyer, to assist in the activities described here for day three. Many of the scenarios are tricky and the answers can depend upon the nuances of state law.

  • Complete the activities for the first and second days (including homework).
  • Complete the activity titled "Search Warrants: What Are They and How Do They Work?"
  • Next, complete the activity titled "When is a Search Warrant Not Needed?"

If you have four days . . .

  • Complete the activities for the first, second, and third days.
  • On the fourth day, complete the Document Analysis: “Impeach Earl Warren” Postcard Activity.
  • Complete the Inquiry-based Task: What’s Your Opinion? (Carpenter v. United States). For advanced classes, consider completing Senate Debate: Abolishing the Exclusionary Rule.
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