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Supreme Court Breathes Life Into Fourth Amendment (NACDL News)
By Ivan J. Dominguez
NACDL News columns.
On Jan. 23, 2012, the Supreme Court decided one of the most important liberty and privacy cases in decades, ruling unanimously that government’s installation and use of a GPS tracking device on a defendant’s vehicle constitute a search that presumptively requires a warrant under the Fourth Amendment. The Justice Department had argued that law enforcement has the authority, unsupervised by any court, to install and use GPS technology to monitor and store the movements, 24/7, of whomever it targets, anywhere, anytime, without a warrant. The entire Court disagreed.
The case is United States v. Jones, No. 10-1259, affirming the judgment in United States v. Maynard by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, which reversed the conviction of Antoine Jones “because it was obtained with evidence procured in violation of the Fourth Amendment.”
“Today’s decision is a victory for privacy in the digital age,” said NACDL President Lisa Wayne on the day the decision came do
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