Skip to main content

With our rights eroding bit-by-bit the SCOTUS got a privacy decision right.

The Supreme Court on Monday put the brakes on the government’s use of high-tech monitoring devices to track motorists, ruling unanimously that police and the FBI violated the 4th Amendment by attaching a GPS device to a Jeep owned by a drug suspect.

Damn - and a unanimous decision at that! They were only split on the extent:

Under Alito’s approach, police would need a search warrant for any use of a tracking device, whether or not it was attached to the car. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer and Elena Kagan joined his opinion.

Double damn!

The others were, apparently, only talking vehicles.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (5+ / 0-)

    Either you're wit' us or a Guinness -- Brilliant!

    by Unforgiven on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 09:23:09 AM PST

  •  Was Duration Alito's trigger? (0+ / 0-)
    ...Meanwhile, Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. said he would go further and rule that the “long-term monitoring” of the vehicle with a tracking device violated the 4th Amendment regardless of whether the device was attached to a car. He took the view that the government violated a motorist’s right to privacy by tracking his movements for weeks on end....

    This decision might have some very interesting impacts on tracking based on technologies not requiring physical contact.  

    The time has come to put the "Occ" in "DemOCCracy". Support (or create) the "Occupy" movement near you. Ordinary Citizens Count in this extraordinary Democcracy.

    by Into The Woods on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 01:52:09 PM PST

  •  Encroachment on Area Enumerated in 4th Amdmt (0+ / 0-)

    I have just sampled the opinion, but it will be interesting to see how it might support the challenge against a search performed using the 'effect' of a person such as a cell phone.  

    The lack of argument by the govt that the search was 'reasonable' at the trial level might also impact the reach of this opinion.

    (a)
    The Fourth Amendment protects the “right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.” Here, the Government’s physical intrusion on an “effect” for the purpose of obtaining information constitutes a “search.” This type of encroachment on an area enumerated in the Amendment would have been considered a search within the meaning of the Amendment at the time it was adopted. Pp. 3–4.  

    (b)
    This conclusion is consistent with this Court’s Fourth Amendment jurisprudence, which until the latter half of the 20th century was tied to common-law trespass. Later cases, which have deviated from that exclusively property-based approach, have applied the analysis of Justice Harlan’s concurrence in Katz v. United States, 389 U. S. 347, which said that the Fourth Amendment protects a person’s “reasonable expectation of privacy,” id., at 360. Here, the Court need not address the Government’s contention that Jones had no “reasonable expectation of privacy,” because Jones’s Fourth Amendment rights do not rise or fall with the Katz formulation.

    (c) The Government’s alternative argument—that if the attachment and use of the device was a search, it was a reasonable one—is forfeited because it was not raised below. P. 12.

    UNITED STATES v. JONESCERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA CIRCUITNo. 10–1259. Argued November 8, 2011—Decided January 23, 2012

    The time has come to put the "Occ" in "DemOCCracy". Support (or create) the "Occupy" movement near you. Ordinary Citizens Count in this extraordinary Democcracy.

    by Into The Woods on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 02:10:14 PM PST

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site