JUL 3, 2014, 12:15 PM
Supreme Court ruling a good step in restoring privacy rights
BY DAWUD WALID
It’s not often in recent history where the U.S. Supreme Court rules unanimously on any issue, but the Court did last week pertaining to a case that relates to the fundamental American right of privacy. No, I’m not talking about the Hobby Lobby case.
I’m talking about the Court’s ruling that police officers do not have the right to search arrestees’ cell phones without a warrant. In other words, the police are barred from detaining persons and then going fishing through their smart phones, which could contain everything from e-mails to business information to intimate, personal pictures.
The Fourth Amendment, which was established to protect citizens from illegal search and seizure, has evolved in its application but set forth a very important principle. Unless in cases of extremely obvious emergencies, police cannot delve into our private possessions without putting forth an argument to judges as to why there’s probable cause and obtaining a search warrant to do so.
This legal protection is what differentiates the United States of America from most countries on Earth. Hopefully, this ruling is the beginning of restoring our privacy rights that have deteriorated in the past decade, which is most exemplified in the NSA’s warrantless monitoring of citizens’ e-mails and phone calls.