Cellphones and smartphones generally cannot be searched by police without a warrant during arrests, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously Wednesday in a major victory for privacy rights.
Ruling on two cases from California and Massachusetts, the justices acknowledged both a right to privacy and a need to investigate crimes. But they came down squarely on the side of privacy rights.
"Modern cellphones, as a category, implicate privacy concerns far beyond those implicated by the search of a cigarette pack, a wallet or a purse," Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the court.
"We cannot deny that our decision today will have an impact on the ability of law enforcement to combat crime," he said. "Privacy comes at a cost."
The justices struck down an extensive smartphone search in California that had been upheld by the state Court of Appeals, as well as a more limited probe of an old flip-top cellphone in Massachusetts that a federal judge already had thrown out.
Currently, police can search a person under arrest and whatever physical items are within reach to find weapons and preserve evidence that might be destroyed. But the justices noted that vast amounts of sensitive data on modern smartphones raise new privacy concerns that differentiate them from other items.
While I enjoy throwing truly criminal people in jail, and have for almost 41 years, I am very happy that the Court has come down on the side of the Constitution for once.
To those in the L/E profession who would decry this decision as making our jobs more difficult I say that if you as a citizen are ever charged with a crime you will be happy that as many of your rights are respected as anyone else's.
We must follow the Constitution no matter the impact on our profession because our profession means NOTHING if we fail to preserve the rights of those we serve.
Nate, what you just said should be standard teaching at every L/E Academy, every City Hall, every school district and every home...and then we wouldn't have the diseased carcasses inhabiting our WH and Congress. Americans would expect and demand better...and we would have it. Thank you.
Thank you, Mark. I am old school and my time in the profession is drawing to a close here in the next few years. My mission is to set as many new officers and deputies on the right track before they hit the streets. I am passionate about protecting the rights of all of our citizens, even those accused of the worst crimes. The Constitution of the United States is the most nearly perfectly crafted document of individual rights ever written.
The Founders knew human nature better than most of us and that government is only as noble as the most corrupt politician. The problem is that we have lost our anchor as to what constitutes a civil society. We now live in an era of the degenerated social compact so that the concept of personal responsibility and accountability have been relegated to the dustbin of history. The Founders knew that without absolute individually practiced moral principles government control would become ever more oppressive.
The dilemma is that the Constitution only really works when we practice self restraint and respect toward each other.
Sorry, didn't mean to preach.
Nate, Very well said. I may find someplace to use that.
The way I see it is if they actually could get every weapon off the street and if it were possible that the government were all honest people who could see all our private affairs and never speak a word of it or use it against us then we wouldn't need police!!
Anyone who thinks that is possible is severely delusional.
The very fact that we need police shows that there is no "evolving" to a level of trust and honesty amongst people!
People are still just as wickedly egotistical and as schemeingly selfish as they have always been. That isn't going to change.
The fact that police want to make it easier on themselves shows that they shouldn't be an officer!
I remember being told long ago that there was nothing the police could do in regards to a threat they did not hear! That if someone threatened to kill or harm me I would have to call them once something was under way!
I remember thinking how unfair that was. Like how stupid to wait until someone has harmed me.
But then I thought about it(this is something Liberals never do) and realized, " How would I like it if some scheming person told the police I threatened them and I had not and they just came and locked me up because I might do some harm to someone! I quickly realized and saw the rationale behind what that cop told me.
Police sign on KNOWING they face dangers. Why should we have PARANOID police on the streets? The liberals answer that question by saying we shouldn't so we should take guns from everyone and let the police have access to any information they may need and that is just way wrong!! The Conservative and Constitutionalist answers that by saying, WEAR A VEST AND DONT BELIEVE THAT YOU ARE ABOVE THE LAW BECAUSE YOU AREN'T! PEOPLE DESERVE THEIR FREEDOM AND YOU ARE THE PROTECTOR OF IT!! THAT DOESN'T BY DEFAULT MAKE YOU THE SOLE VIOLATOR OF THEIR FREEDOM AND YOU DONT NEED TO VIOLATE IT TO PROTECT OTHERS!!
MAN I get angry over this.
Because our Rights are INHERENT. We didn't get them in 1791!! It was declared in 1791 that our Rights are INHERENT. Meaning, that our Rights and our Bodies are a PACKAGE DEAL!!
And the Government is Constrained from touching our Rights.
They keep thinking they aren't constrained and keep trying to do something.
The GOP then uses this to try and get reelected by threatening if we don't elect Republicans then the left will take our rights away when they SHOULD be saying that the Left is ridiculous and does not understand the Constitution at all thinking they can get a majority rule mandate from the people and enforce unconstitutional laws on the people violating the Supreme Law of this land, violating the INHERENT RIGHTS OF FREE PEOPLE for the purpose of some fake idea of safety without a states Convention! And that this breaks their oath and makes them Criminals against the United States Constitution!!!!
WHEN ARE THOSE ELECTED GOING TO GET SOME SPINE?
Good for them for doing their job !
I think the one about Obamacare forcing business to cover abortions is being decided today. Hope they have not given us a fig leaf so they can vote against that one.
When I was still working I never went through a suspects phone -I would see other cops do it and question it but I guess I wasn't "progressive "enough.
No wonder a lot of these young cops think no one trusts them -- I some times think the academies left the constitution out of the lesson plan--I saw some amazing things when I was retiring.
Police today need a lesson on what it is that they represent. Far too many are representing their own egotistical power trip. They should know that if they break the law(by swatting at someone or hitting someone for nothing or taking the possessions of another without a warranty or probable cause then they should be fired.
DON'T FORGET, protect yourselves:
You may have heard about a new currency law coming to America.
On July 1st of this year, Title V of the Obama Administration’s HR Bill #2847, known as FATCA, goes into effect.
And after collectively spending more than 100 hours reading the actual legislation and its associated news coverage, we found 4 concerns we think you need to be aware of...
In fact, on April 2nd of this year, the new IRS commissioner said, “Whatever else we are going to do, we are going to implement the non-discretionary legislative mandates we have been given: the Affordable Care Act and FATCA”
We think every American needs to learn about this law.
Get the facts, and learn how to protect yourself.
To help, we’ve put together a slide show presentation on our website, which you can access free of charge.
Senior Researcher, Stansberry Research
Stansberry & Associates, Investment Research, 1217 St. Paul St., Baltimore, MD 21202
This is a paid message from a third party. InvestingAnswers is not affiliated with and does not endorse this company or its product. Please read all disclaimers. If you have any questions concerning this company or product, please contact the company at the address above.
The constitution stands, As the forth amendment states, with out a warrant no looking at people's phones. other issue here that anyone can see is these states, both California and Massachusetts want to become police states. So what would anyone to expect .