Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

6/25/2014 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Police will need a warrant to search cellphones.

The Supreme Court has told police they need to get a warrant before they start snooping in cellphones. The decision was unanimous and should curtail police invasions of privacy that have become all too frequent.

The Supreme Court has ruled police will need a warrant before they go searching cellphones without probable cause.

The Supreme Court has ruled police will need a warrant before they go searching cellphones without probable cause.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

6/25/2014 (2 years ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: Supreme Court, warrent, cell phones, searches, warrant


WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) - Police across the United States have faced growing criticism and public backlash over their tactics which are seen as increasingly militant and excessive. Among those tactics is the routine search of a person's cell phone records during a detention. Critics have accused the police of fishing for clues in situations where they have no business.

Today, the Supreme Court unanimously agreed, ruling that police will need a warrant, at least in most cases, before searching a cellphone or smartphone.

Pray for our nation!

The justices ruled on two cases, one from California and one from Massachusetts.

Police claim they need to be able to quickly search cellphones for evidence that could provide clues in cases where time could be of the essence. However, the justices acknowledged this fact and still ruled in favor of privacy. "We cannot deny that our decision today will have an impact on the ability of law enforcement to combat crime," Chief Justice John Roberts explained. "Privacy comes at a cost."

The two cases involved searches of cellphones in California and Massachusetts which had already been tossed out by lower courts, but were brought before the Supreme Court on appeal. The judges explained that because smartphones contain so much personal information, a warrantless search could breach privacy rights guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment.

The court did say that police could still search phones in "exigent circumstances." However, broad sweeps of data and warrantless searches of cell phones cannot take place without a warrant.

The Constitution has long been interpreted to say that police can search an individual and their property, but only for those things specified in a warrant. For example, if a person is thought to be hiding a physical object and the warrant authorizes a search or it, then police can search anyplace that object may be. However, they cannot search in places where it cannot be, because that amounts to fishing for evidence.

Police can still make an arrest and charge defendants with other crimes when evidence of additional crimes is obvious, but they cannot go searching without a warrant or probable cause.

Today's ruling comes amid previous rulings that permit authorities to take DNA swabs from arrested individuals and add their DNA to a database for unsolved crimes. It also contrasts with a ruling that police can conduct strip searches of prisoners without probable cause.

However, police need a warrant to attach a GPS device to a person's car or to bring a drug sniffing dog to a house.

Americans are becoming increasingly sensitive about their privacy, as many realize that their most intimate personal information is being aggregated, monitored and monetized by third parties. Normally it is private industry engaged in this behavior, looking for ways to market to people. Recently, federal and local law enforcement have been revealed to be doing it too, in an effort to hoover up vast quantities of data and reveal potential suspects.

In a free society, a balance must be struck between personal liberty and personal safety. Safety is often cited as a reason to diminish personal privacy. However, Americans have made clear that privacy is of value to them, just as it was to the framers of the Constitution. Nor does the government have an absolute, overriding mandate to guarantee perfect safety either.

To a great degree, personal privacy and safety are individual responsibilities. In a free society a government and its police cannot have permission to take these without good, specific reasons. This is why we have warrants and permit judicial review before police start searching and arresting people.

Justice Roberts is right. Freedom, privacy and liberty have a cost.  So too does safety. Today the court has told police how far they can go to protect safety. Given the increasingly aggressive nature of law enforcement tactics, it's time someone reigned them in.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2016 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for SEPTEMBER 2016
Universal:
Centrality of the Human Person: That each may contribute to the common good and to the building of a society that places the human person at the center.
Evangelization: Mission to Evangelize: That by participating in the Sacraments and meditating on Scripture, Christians may become more aware of their mission to evangelize.



Comments


More Politics & Policy

SMART MOVE: Donald Trump appoints 33 Catholic leaders to advise him on policy matters Watch

Image of

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Donald Trump has named a list of 33 Catholics to a Catholic Advisory Group to offer him ongoing policy recommendations on matters of concern to Catholics and other Christians. Included on the list is Deacon Keith Fournier, the Editor in Chief of Catholic Online. LOS ... continue reading


Donald Trump commits to fight abortion! Letter sent to Pro-Life leaders Watch

Image of Donald Trump has described his position as

By Catholic Online

Donald Trump has issued a statement to pro-life leaders explaining his plans to protect and preserve the lives of our most vulnerable citizens. As leaders in this fight, we would like to share his words with you in our community. Please keep the unborn in mind ... continue reading


What Wells Fargo did to you, how Senator Warren is defending you, and why the Law Code of Hammurabi is better than our pathetic system of justice today Watch

Image of Elizabeth Warren skewered Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf during a Senate inquiry over the massive fraud perpetrated by the company.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Senator Elizabeth Warren tore into Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf, who claims he is "accountable" for a massive scam that impacted millions of the bank's customers. However, Stumpf has not resigned, returned any money, or faced criminal prosecution. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Why did George H.W. Bush say he is voting for Clinton? Because he's part of the globalist establishment, that's why Watch

Image of Is George H.W. Bush voting for Clinton? According to Kennedy-Townsend, yes.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

George Herbert Walker Bush is a Clinton lover. It doesn't matter that Bill Clinton trashed him in the polls in 1991, his vote is going to Hillary Clinton. The reason behind the surprising endorsement is simple: globalism. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) ... continue reading


Catholics have the power to shape America's political future Watch

Image of Catholics may very well decide who the next president will be, and more.

By Marshall Connolly, (California Network)

Archbishop Chaput isn't too excited about the upcoming presidential election. In an interview with CNA, the Archbishop expressed deep disappointment at the quality of the candidates on offer. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Archbishop Chaput has seen plenty of ... continue reading


This one clever turn of phrase has everyone questioning Hillary Clinton's medical report Watch

Image of No other person running for office in the primaries of general election has coughing fits, dizziness spells, seizures or faints. No other person travels with a team of doctors.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton both released medical reports yesterday. According to the reports, both candidates are healthy and fit for office. But there's quite a catch in Clinton's report. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Hillary Clinton's doctor released a ... continue reading


Liberals hate everyone different: Hillary Clinton calls you a deplorable, are prison camps next? Watch

Image of What will Hillary Clinton do with all those deplorables?

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Hillary Clinton regrets the backlash she's received after declaring half of all Trump's supporters to be "deplorables." The episode demonstrates that even she is prone to gaffes, something she has criticized Donald Trump for previously. LOS ANGELES, CA (California ... continue reading


Hillary Clinton's fatal mistake - why lying she has pneumonia will cost her presidency Watch

Image of Is she choking from pneumonia? Or on her lies?

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Hillary Clinton has painted herself into a corner, claiming that she has pneumonia. Now she must either get well, or face the public over questions of her health. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - At first it was nothing but a conspiracy theory. Hillary Clinton ... continue reading


Clinton passes out and loses shoe at 9/11 memorial ceremony Watch

Image of Hillary Clinton faints at 9/11 memorial in New York.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Hillary Clinton's press team reported the Democratic nominee felt faint at the 9/11 ceremony due to "overheating" but what is really going on? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Footage of Clinton leaning back against a stone pillar before collapsing entirely was ... continue reading


Will the Hispanic population decide next US President? Watch

Image of Will the Latino vote decide the next President of the United States?

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Who will decide the next US President? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to the Pew Research Center, the United States' Hispanic population reached 57 million in 2015.Since then, the Hispanic birth rate has fallen yet Latinos are still 54 percent of the ... continue reading


All Politics & Policy News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Amos 6:1, 4-7
1 Disaster for those so comfortable in Zion and for those so confident on ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 146:7, 8-9, 9-10
7 gives justice to the oppressed, gives food to the hungry; Yahweh sets ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 16:19-31
19 'There was a rich man who used to dress in purple and fine linen and ... Read More

Reading 2, First Timothy 6:11-16
11 But, as someone dedicated to God, avoid all that. You must aim to be ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 25th, 2016 Image

St. Finbar
September 25: He was the son of an artisan and a lady of the ... Read More