The Fourth Amendment protects a person's "papers" and "effects" from unreasonable searches. But what happens when those items-normally found in a file cabinet or closet-can all fit on a phone no bigger than a deck of cards?
And what happens when that phone is in someone's pocket when they get arrested by police? That's the question facing the U.S. Supreme Court in a pair of cases set to be argued on Tuesday, April 29-United States v. Wurie and Riley v. California.
The "search incident to arrest" was a stalwart exception to the Fourth Amendment's warrant requirement well before D.C. police officer Richard Jenks arrested and searched Willie Robinson and found heroin in a crumpled up cigarette pack-perhaps the most well-known example of the doctrine in action, United States v. Robinson 414 U.S. 218 (1973).
My, how times have changed. Trade the pack of cigarettes for an iPhone, loaded with pictures, videos, voice and text messages and other documents, and the ability to search an arrestee goes from a limited invasion to the key to a treasure trove of personal information.
So once again, the court is faced with the possibility that new technology will force them to reconsider how we think about the Fourth Amendment. (We're only two terms removed from United States v. Jones, involving the installation of a GPS tracking device on a suspect's car.)
Here to talk about the case and the issues facing the justices is Hugh Kaplan of BBNA's Criminal Law Reporter.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).