250 word discussion response robert.
The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution requires law enforcement to obtain a search warrant prior to searching an individualâ€™s property. One question before the court was whether or not this protection would include our movements and phone calls being tracked by a third party, like a cell phone provider. Notably, in a reply to the governmentâ€™s brief, Carpenterâ€™s attorneys referenced Riley v. California: â€œYet, this Court and lower courts have recognized that Fourth Amendment cases from a prior era cannot be applied mechanically to â€˜modern cell phones, which are now such a pervasive and insistent part of daily life that the proverbial visitor from Mars might conclude they were an important feature of human anatomy.â€™ Riley v. California, 134 S. Ct. 2473, 2484 (2014) (refusing to extend to cell phones the search-incident-to-arrest exception to the warrant requirement). â€ (Timothy Ivory Carpenter v. United States). Thus, cell phones have become such a large part of daily life, and with them come complexities prior law simply could not have predicted. Therefore, Carpenterâ€™s attorneys hoped the court would review the outdated law.
The court held, in a 5-4 decision, that a warrantless search of cell phone records is unlawful and extended Fourth Amendment protections to cell phone data. This was a victory for privacy advocates and asserts that government cannot, without a warrant, obtain such information. I agree with the courtâ€™s decision because my movements and my conversations are my business, and should I plead the Fifth Amendment protection of self-incrimination, law enforcement just did an end-run on my Fifth Amendment rights by going to a third party that also knows my movements. And for that matter, correlation is not causation: Just because I was near a crime scene does not mean I committed a crime. It is how the government may choose to use this information that has grave implications for the innocent.
I disagree with the dissenting opinions. Those that fall on original intent are, in my opinion, weak. Justice Kennedyâ€™s dissent asserts the cell-phone companies actually own the data, individuals do not: â€œHere the Government did not search anything over which Carpenter could assert ownership or control. Instead, it issued a court-authorized subpoena to a third party to disclose information it alone owned and controlled. That should suffice to resolve this case.â€ (Carpenter v. United States). So is a subpoena to a third party sufficient? It turns out five justices, and I, disagree.