Supreme Court to Decide if Fourth Amendment’s Warrant Requirement Applies to Cellphone Records

In this Feb. 13, 2016, file photo, people stand on the steps of the Supreme Court at sunset in Washington.
In this Feb. 13, 2016, file photo, people stand on the steps of the Supreme Court at sunset in Washington.

The Supreme Court will take up a case looking at whether police can peruse someone’s cell phone location records without first getting a warrant, the justices announced Monday, adding another high-profile civil liberties case to the docket for their next session.

The high court agreed to hear an appeal from a case in Detroit, where prosecutors used data detailing an armed robbery suspect’s locations from his cell phone data history to help convict him. The police had obtained those records by request, but didn’t go to court to get a warrant.

An appeals court upheld the conviction, saying checking those records isn’t considered a search under the Fourth Amendment, so no warrant is needed.

Civil liberties groups are begging for the court to overturn the ruling, saying cell location information can paint a most intimate picture of someone’s life — exactly the kind of information that the Fourth Amendment was intended to protect.

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SOURCE: Alex Swoyer
The Washington Times