Fourth Amendment law is now a "best guess." After Carpenter, nobody really can say what the law is. That's unfortunate.
Latest in Carpenter v. United States
There is a lot that is extraordinary and groundbreaking in Carpenter, but the case makes only a small and likely necessary resolution of an unsettled question in the law of subpoenas.
The Supreme Court seems to have understood itself as applying the Fourth Amendment to the 21st century, and in particular to digital network technology of the 21st century—but it left several key questions unanswered.
A review of Lawfare's 2017 coverage of privacy law.
The Supreme Court heard oral arguments Wednesday in Carpenter v. United States, a major Fourth Amendment case asking whether a warrant is necessary before law enforcement can obtain cell site data identifying a suspect phone's location from a service provider. Lawfare contributor and Fourth Amendment expert Orin Kerr discussed the case with me at Brookings shortly after the argument.
The Carpenter case asks whether and how we should update Fourth Amendment doctrine to accomodate technological change. This post defends the proposition that the mosaic theory (the idea that the "whole of data is greater than the sum of its parts") is technologically accurate and a good construct for thinking about these changes. Thought of properly, Carpenter still loses -- but in a different way that is more protective of individual privacy.
Orin Kerr shares his observations on Carpenter v. United States, a case concerning whether the Fourth Amendment applies to government collection of historical cell-site records.
Orin Kerr, professor at George Washington University Law School, filed an amicus brief today in support of the respondent in Carpenter vs. U.S. The brief, which may be of interest to Lawfare readers, is available here:
Yesterday, the government filed a response brief in Carpenter v. United States, arguing that the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals decision holding that the government's acquisition of cell phone records did not violate the Fourth Amendment should be affirmed. Counsel for Timothy I. Carpenter filed the cert petition on September 26, 2016, which was granted on June 5, 2017. You can read the full brief here:
Yesterday the Supreme Court granted certiorari in Carpenter v. United States, a case with “enormous implications” for the fate of Fourth Amendment jurisprudence, specifically the hotly-debated “third-party” doctrine.