Ricochet is the best place on the internet to discuss the issues of the day, either through commenting on posts or writing your own for our active and dynamic community in a fully moderated environment. In addition, the Ricochet Audio Network offers over 50 original podcasts with new episodes released every day.
On November 8th, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in United States v. Jones. I only know the bare details of the case, but it’s so interesting, I wanted to see what the Rico Community has to say.
The question is whether the Constitution allows police to put a GPS tracking device on a car without either a warrant or the owner’s permission; and whether the Constitution is violated when police use the tracking device to keep track of the car’s whereabouts. That’s right, in this case, law enforcement agents installed a GPS device in a suspect’s car when he wasn’t looking. They then followed his movements until they found illegal drugs (a lot of them, apparently).
Personally, I don’t want the police installing things in my car without my permission (unless doing so would stop that weird knocking sound I’ve been getting). The question is whether the Constitution forbids this. (See Orin Kerr’s essay at Scotusblog). Here’s what the Fourth Amendment says:
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.
The police can observe my house and my car from the outside without triggering a “search,” but once they go inside my car? Isn’t that like going inside my house? Thoughts?Published in