The Supreme Court has been very busy lately. It seems like they’re getting most of their decisions right these days. They gave Hobby Lobby and a Christian college in Illinois victories over ObamaCare, they ruled against President Obama’s appointments to the National Labor Relations Board that bypassed Congress and they decided that public employees should not be forced to pay union dues.
Now, the Supreme Court has struck a chord for privacy. This comes at a time when there is little privacy left, thanks to the USA Patriot Act that George W. Bush started and Barack Obama expanded. In a unanimous decision, the Court ruled that police usually need a warrant to search the cell phone of a person they are arresting.
Chief Justice John Roberts wrote that for many Americans, cell phones hold “the privacies of life.”
He also wrote, “The fact that technology now allows an individual to carry such information in his hand does not make the information any less worthy of the protection for which the Founders fought…Since cell phones make it easy to store huge amounts of personal data and communications in someone’s pocket, they’ve seriously changed how much information an arresting officer can find out with an initial search.”
People against this recent decision say that remote wiping and post-arrest data encryption are ways that a person getting arrested can get rid of evidence before police can get a warrant. But the Court ruled that those activities are not done often enough to make a difference.
How do you feel about this Supreme Court decision? Do you agree that police should not be allowed to search the cell phone of someone they are arresting without a warrant, or should that person’s phone be fair game? Let me know what you think.