Skip to content

Supreme Court: Hey cops, next time GET A WARRANT!

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
6/25/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (https://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 (https://www.catholic.org)
6/25/2014 (3 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.

---


'Help Give every Student and Teacher FREE resources for a world-class Moral Catholic Education'


Copyright 2018 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for APRIL 2018
For those who have Responsibility in Economic Matters.
That economists may have the courage to reject any economy of exclusion and know how to open new paths.


Comments


More Politics & Policy

Disability rights group addresses proposed New York suicide law Watch

Image of

Disability rights activists are speaking out in opposition to a proposal in New York that would legalize physician assisted suicide. New ... continue reading


California bill that could BAN THE BIBLE advances Watch

Image of AB2943 also bans speech.

A bill in the California legislature intended to ban gay conversion therapy is also worded so that it could be used to ban books such as ... continue reading


Rep. Jeff Fortenberry talks about consulting on a documentary about the papacy Watch

Image of

Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) is not shy about his Catholic faith. He holds a master's degree in theology from Franciscan University of ... continue reading


Is the end of Facebook near? How regulation could kill the world's largest social network Watch

Image of The Senate and House spent two days grilling Mark Zuckerberg over Facebook's practices.

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg faced two days of tough questions from both the Senate and the House. It is possible that Facebook ... continue reading


California scientists say earthquake early warning system worked in 5.3 tremor Watch

Image of Engineers are Caltech and the USGS are developing Shake Alert, which will provide west coast residents with early warnings for earthquakes.

Caltech says their early warning system worked well during the 5.3 magnitude quake which shook the Southern California coast on Thursday. ... continue reading


Never Miss any Updates!

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

Information
Learn about Catholic world

Catholic Online
Inform - Inspire - Ignite

Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained

Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need

Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online

Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye

Daily Reading
Today's bible reading

Lent / Easter
Death & resurrection of Jesus

Advent / Christmas
Birth of Jesus

Rest of Catholic Online
All Catholic world we offer

Services
Products and services we offer

Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books

The California Network
Inspiring streaming service

Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on catholic.org

Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel

Catholic Online Singles
Safe, secure Catholic dating

The California Studios
World-class post production service

Education
Learn the Catholic way

Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all

Student Classes
K-12 & Adult Education Classes

School Teachers
Teacher lesson plans & resources

Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education

Socials
Connect with us online

Catholic Online on Facebook
Catholic social network

Catholic Online on Twitter
Catholic Tweets

Catholic Online on YouTube
Enjoy our videos

Catholic Online on Instagram
Shared Catholic moments

Catholic Online on Pinterest
Catholic ideas style inspiration

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2018 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2018 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.