Sunday, March 18, 2012

US Supreme Court hears warrantless GPS tracking arguments

US Supreme CourtThe US Supreme Court today heard oral arguments in a case destined to determine whether police can attach a GPS tracking device to an individual’s vehicle without getting a warrant. Cases such as this have divided various Circuit Courts of Appeal, with most coming down in favor of warrantless tracking.

A decision isn’t expected until June, but I thought I’d give you a flavor of today’s Q&A:

Chief Justice Roberts:

"You could tomorrow decide that you put a GPS device on every one of our cars, follow us for a month, no problem under the Constitution?"

Deputy Solicitor General Michael Dreeben, US Department of Justice:

"The justices of this court, when driving on the streets, have no greater expectation of privacy…than they would if the FBI followed them around the clock."

Chief Justice Roberts:

"Your argument is, it doesn’t depend how much suspicion you have, it doesn’t depend on how urgent it is. Your argument is you can do it, period. It doesn’t have to be limited in any way, right?"


"That is correct."

Justice Stephen Breyer:

"if you win this case, then there is nothing to prevent the police or the government from monitoring 24 hours a day the public movements of every citizen in the United States"


"This case does not involve 24-hour surveillance of every citizen of the United States…It involves following one suspected drug dealer as to whom there was very strong suspicion."

Justive Sonia Sotomayor:

"There are now satellites that look down and can hone in on your home on a block and in a neighborhood"

Attorney Stephen Leckar:

"This case does not require us to decide those issues of emerging technology…It’s a simple case at the core."

Via NPR and USA Today

About Rich Owings

Rich is the owner, editor and chief bottle-washer for GPS Tracklog. Connect with him on Twitter, Facebook or Google Plus.

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