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Supreme Court To Decide Case On Police Cellphone Searches

Publication Date: 
January 18, 2014
The Washington Post
Robert Barnes

Professor Jeffrey Fisher, who is representing the petitioner in Riley v. California, comments on past rulings regarding the 4th Amendment and cell phone searches for The Washington Post. 

The Supreme Court will take the next step in applying traditional notions of privacy to emerging advances in technology, announcing Friday it will consider whether police need a warrant to search the contents of a cellphone they seize when making an arrest.

Government officials contend cellphones are no different than other items that the court over the years has said police may search when they find them on the individuals they arrest.


”At least six courts hold that the Fourth Amendment permits such searches, while at least three others hold that it does not,” wrote Jeffrey Fisher, a Stanford Law School professor representing a California man who successfully sought the court’s review.