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The Supreme Court rules the police need a warrant to search cell phones

June 25, 2014

  How about a little bit of good news for a change? Consider this the feel-good story of the day.

  Today the Supreme Court, in a rare unanimous decision, ruled that police must obtain a search warrant before they can look through a person’s cell phone, extending the fourth amendment right to include these devices.

The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that police cannot go snooping through people’s cell phones without a warrant, in a unanimous decision that amounts to a major statement in favor of privacy rights.

Police agencies had argued that searching through the data on cell phones was no different than asking someone to turn out his pockets, but the justices rejected that, saying a cell phone is more fundamental.

The ruling amounts to a 21st century update to legal understanding of privacy rights.

“The fact that technology now allows an individual to carry such information in his hand does not make the information any less worthy of the protection for which the Founders fought,” Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote for the unanimous court.

“Our answer to the question of what police must do before searching a cell phone seized incident to an arrest is accordingly simple— get a warrant.”

  To me this was a no-brainer, and I think the unanimous decision confirms this, but the truth is since the individual mandate was ruled Constitutional I simply no longer know what to expect from the Supreme Court.

  Thankfully they got this one right.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. June 25, 2014 7:28 pm

    Reblogged this on Brittius.


  2. June 25, 2014 7:45 pm

    Obama has had many unanimous decisions go against him. This links to his losses. Good news indeed.

    But we might do well to pay more attention where the court rules unanimously, particularly when they go against the White House.

    When a president pursues policies that require such expansive federal power that he can’t get a single justice to agree, something is probably amiss.

    When a president pursues policies that require such expansive federal power that he can’t get a single justice to agree, something is probably amiss.

    Such overreach, though, has become a part of our political culture. Administrations of both parties are often unwilling to accept constitutional limits on their authority.


    • June 25, 2014 8:15 pm

      Thanks for the link and you are right, this goes to show us that Obama’s over-reach is so great that even the liberal justices will not fall in line!


  3. June 26, 2014 6:36 am

    Is there anyway that Buck Ofama can legally circumvent a Supreme Court decision via executive order? After all his pen and phone are mightier than the sword.


    • June 26, 2014 6:56 am

      I think it was Andrew Jackson who once said “the Supreme Court has made its decision now let them enforce it.” Meaning he was going to ignore it anyway, somehow I feel Obama feels the same way.


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