In a recent California Supreme Court decision, Cops in this state no longer need a warrant to confiscate the cell phone of whomever they detain and use that data as evidence against that detainee.
I believe this practice of warrantless cell phone searches and siezures is unconstitutional. What do you think?
Here are a few websites I found discussing the specifics on this story:
I need to study this case further to make sure I am not misunderstanding it. But as I read the constitution, it seems pretty clear to me. Unfortunately, the courts have been applying a more flexible interpretation of the Constitution. The fourth amendment to the United States Constitution simply states,
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
In the following video, the U.S. Congress is debating the so-called “Patriot Act.” Notice that this video could leave one to believe that it is a “left” versus “right” issue. But people on both sides of the isle are in both in agreement and in disagreement with the act. It is just one piece of the argument about the fourth amendment:
In opposition to the “Patriot Act,” Dr. Ron Paul, the Republican Representative from Texas, defends the fourth amendment:
It is my opinion that the whole idea of sacrificing liberty for security is a “slippery slope.” This business of searching our cell phones without a warrant is just one example of the avalanche of human rights violations that is beginning with “Patriot Act” mentality.
One well-known paraphrase of Benjamin Franklin’s Poor Richard’s Almanack (1738) goes something like this:
Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security deserves neither liberty nor security and will lose both.
This next video discusses how to “flex your rights,” especially the fourth amendment, when stopped by a police officer: