Originally Posted by btmj
Under what logic has the Courts decided that incorporation of the Bill of Rights should be decided on a case by case basis, by the courts, over a period of 150 years? If the "privileges or immunities of citizens" do not include those specifically outlined in the bill of rights, then what else is there?
I have to admit that I haven't looked at The Slaughterhouse Cases to which Al refers since, oooohhhh, about law school. He may very well have nailed the answer by pointing you in that direction.
With that said, my gut reaction to your question is this: Our courts do not issue advisory opinions. That means that a court is bound to answer the question before it, and nothing more. For example, if my question is, "Does Statute #12345 violate the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution?," there is no reason for SCOTUS to even examine the Fourth Amendment. Accordingly, it cannot, and will not, decide whether Statute #12345 is implicated by the A4.