Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Political Science

First Advisor

Bradley Hays




legislation, implementation, state government, law


The USA Patriot Act, passed in September 2001, changed the standards of Fourth Amendment rights and protections. The USA Patriot Act gave more authority to the government and diminished the rights and privileges given to individual citizens. An eruption of Fourth Amendment legislation and cases arose in the states following the passage of the act and it created a problem for policy and implementation. The legislation presented, for the USA Patriot Act and wiretapping/eavesdropping laws, demonstrated the differences in opinions on these issues on the individual state level. These drastic differences in policy between states created a question of why individual states act so varied both in their policies and implementation. This thesis unfolds the relationship between Fourth Amendment legislation and the ideology/partisanship of individual states. Partisanship and ideology are often considered to be major factors in the decision-making process of state governments. In the first wave of legislation, the partisanship/ideology of the states did not affect the type of legislation passed. However, in the second wave of legislation, partisanship/ideology appeared to play a more significant role. Therefore, the question emerges as to why ideology/partisanship did not correlate with the legislation passed in the first wave, yet it did show a relationship in the second wave. While, there is no definitive answer, this thesis explored the possible reasons and the other factors that could of contributed to the type of legislation passed in the individual state governments.