Published on: Wednesday, November 29, 2017

This morning, the United States Supreme Court heard oral argument in Carpenter v. United States , No. 16-402, to decide “[w]hether the warrantless seizure and search of historical cellphone records revealing the location and movements of a cellphone user over the course of 127 days is permitted by the Fourth Amendment.”  A transcript of the oral argument is available here.  The Federal Courts of Appeals and State High Courts are divided over (1) whether the third-party doctrine eliminates people’s reasonable expectation of privacy; and (2) whether there is a reasonable expectation of privacy in longer term location information collected by electronic means.  This case presents the Court another significant opportunity to clarify and refine its Fourth Amendment jurisprudence in an ever evolving digital age.

The briefing in Carpenter, along with symposium articles addressing the Fourth Amendment implications, are available at SCOTUSblog here.  The Training Division provides resource materials on wiretaps and electronic surveillance here