Latest in Fourth Amendment

Fourth Amendment

Public Utility's Recording of Home Energy Consumption Every 15 Minutes Is a 'Search,' Seventh Circuit Rules

In a fascinating decision, Naperville Smart Meter Awareness v. City of Naperville, the Seventh Circuit has held that a public utility commits a "search" of a home when it records every 15 minutes how much electricity the utility is providing the home, at least until the smart readers that enable this data collection come into general public use.

U.S. Supreme Court

Carpenter and the End of Bulk Surveillance of Americans

Writing for the majority in Carpenter v. United States, Chief Justice John Roberts called the court’s momentous Fourth Amendment decision “a narrow one.” The specific holding—that a warrant is required for law enforcement to access historical cell site location information (CSLI)—may indeed be narrow, and the decision rightfully cautions that “the Court must tread carefully” when considering new technologies.

Brett Kavanaugh

Judge Kavanaugh on the Fourth Amendment

Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s views of the Fourth Amendment have drawn significant interest following his recent nomination to the Supreme Court. This post takes a close look at Kavanaugh’s key Fourth Amendment opinions. It does so with an eye to guessing how he might rule in search and seizure cases if he is confirmed to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court has a large Fourth Amendment docket. How might a Justice Kavanaugh approach those cases?

Fourth Amendment

When Does a Carpenter Search Start—and When Does It Stop?

The Supreme Court’s recent decision in Carpenter v. United States raises lots of fascinating and novel Fourth Amendment questions. In this post I want to focus on one interesting and important set of questions: When does a Carpenter search start, and when does it stop? I don’t have a lot of answers, but I think the questions are important to consider. This post will explore the questions and will end with a set of hypotheticals that I think are worth pondering.

U.S. Supreme Court

Summary: The Supreme Court Rules in Carpenter v. United States

On Friday, June 22, the Supreme Court issued its much-anticipated opinion in Carpenter v. United States, holding that a warrant is required for police to access cell site location information from a cell phone company—the detailed geolocation information generated by a cellphone’s communication with cell towers.

U.S. Supreme Court

Understanding the Supreme Court’s Carpenter Decision

The Supreme Court has handed down its long-awaited decision in Carpenter v. United States. The opinion is only an hour old as I start to write this, but I wanted to offer some initial thoughts that I will also cross-post at The Volokh Conspiracy.

I'll do it in the form of a question-and-answer session, asking questions you may have and offering answers as best I can. Also, rather than wait to the end and post all of my thoughts at once, I will add to this post throughout the day.

Fourth Amendment

Summary: Circuit Split on Device Searches at the Border in US v. Touset

More and more federal courts are confronting the question whether the government’s traditional authority to search persons and property at the border—without a warrant, and typically without any degree of individualized suspicion—extends to travelers’ electronic devices.

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