Civil and Human Rights

Justices Wary Of Unfettered Police Intrusion Into Smartphone Privacy

Washington, DC – After this morning’s oral arguments in the U.S. Supreme Court over the rights of people to keep the contents of their cell and smartphones private from police intrusion without a warrant, CAC Chief Counsel Elizabeth Wydra – who was in the Court for today’s proceedings – issued the following reaction:

 

“Most of the Justices recognized that the vast troves of deeply personal information that Americans carry around on their cell phones raise new concerns regarding police searches incident to arrest. As Justice Kagan in particular noted, such a vast intrusion of privacy could be triggered by an arrest for as minor an infraction as failing to buckle your seatbelt. Justices across the ideological spectrum seemed to have trouble with the nature of the police searches in these cases, which run directly counter to the vision of privacy that America’s founders enshrined in the Fourth Amendment.”

 

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Resources:

 

CAC merits stage “friend of the court” brief in Riley v. California and U.S. v. Wurie: http://theusconstitution.org/sites/default/files/briefs/CAC_Riley_Wurie_Merits_Amicus_Brief.pdf

 

“What Scalia knows about illegal searches,” Brianne Gorod, April 29, 2014: http://www.cnn.com/2014/04/29/opinion/gorod-cell-phone-scalia-court/ 

 

“The Supreme Court Cases Everyone With a Cell Phone Should Be Watching,” Brianne Gorod, April 11, 2014: http://theusconstitution.org/text-history/2629/supreme-court-cases-everyone-cell-phone-should-be-watching 

 

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Constitutional Accountability Center (www.theusconstitution.org) is a think tank, public interest law firm, and action center dedicated to fulfilling the progressive promise of the Constitution’s text and history.

 

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