Today we filed an amicus brief in support of a petition for certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court addressing important Fourth And Sixth Amendment issues. The investigation into Ross WilliamUlbricht, the founder of the “Silk Road” website, involved numerous Fourth Amendment violations in the search and seizure of his Internet Communications records. Additionally, Ulbricht had been sentenced to life imprisonment, and there is now no parole in the federal system, based on a judge’s findings of fact based on the preponderance of the evidence, in violation of his right to a jury trial.
Today, we filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court in a case involving a warrantless search of a motorcycle under a tarp located in the “curtilage” of a home, or the area immediately surrounding it. Under the deeply flawed rule the Virginia Supreme Court applied, the Fourth Amendment has no bearing at all whenever an automobile or anything that resembles an automobile is being searched, irrespective of where the automobile is located.
Today, we filed an amicus curiae brief in the United States Supreme Court on the merits, arguing that the government may not seize and search your cell phone’s cell site location information without a warrant. This brief follows two briefs that we filed on this same issue in United States v Graham, and one in United States v. Zodhiates.
Bloomberg BNA carried an article discussing the brief we filed in U.S. v. Robinson on July 24, 2017.
Today we filed an amicus brief in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in defense of a service member whose cell phone was searched and seized by the military in an unlawful manner. As we have in the Jones case, the Graham case, the Zodhiates case, and others we explain how the Fourth Amendment first and foremost protects property rights, not some vague “reasonable expectation of privacy.”
Today we filed a brief in the Second Circuit challenging the Government’s use of cell phone location information obtained from a cell phone provider in response to a grand jury subpoena. We explain that under the Jones and Jardines textual/historic analysis that the cell phone user has a protected privacy interest in these records.
Today, we filed an amicus brief in support of a motion to suppress evidence in a criminal case in the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas. The case is on remand from an appeal to the Tenth Circuit which resulted in a decision written by Judge (now Justice) Neil Gorsuch. Gorsuch had pointed out that the search of an email with its attachments could constitute a violation of the email owner’s property interest protected by the Fourth Amendment, applying the Supreme Court’s United States v. Jones principle. Our amicus brief pointed out that the Jones property principle is primary, but also, the search of the email violated the defendant’s privacy interest in the communications.
Today we filed an amicus brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to review a deeply flawed decision of the Virginia Supreme Court involving the Fourth Amendment. The cased involved different ways that courts evaluate the constitutionality of searches and seizures. The search in this case was of a motorcycle under a tarp located what is known as the “curtilage” of a home, or the area immediately surrounding it. Under the deeply flawed rule the Virginia Supreme Court applied, the Fourth Amendment has no bearing at all whenever an automobile or anything that resembles an automobile is being searched, irrespective of where the automobile is located.
Today our firm filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court in support of a petition for certiorari in a case involving a Fourth Amendment violation where a person’s whereabouts were tracked for months by seizing his cell site location information. We argued against the Supreme Court’s “third-party doctrine,” which holds that a person does not have a “reasonable expectation of privacy” if he voluntarily gives information to third parties. Further, the brief relied on the Court’s recently reinvigorated property rights basis of the Fourth Amendment, urging the Court to consider a person’s cell phone data and location as his property even though not a physical object.
This morning, the American Thinker published Jeremiah Morgan’s article about the amicus brief we filed in Manuel v. City of Joliet. The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral argument in this case on Wednesday, October 5. The article explains why victims of police misconduct should be able to bring a Fourth Amendment based suit when police fabricate evidence to obtain an indictment.
Today,we filed our third brief opposing NSA’s program of “Upstream” Internet surveillance of Americans. Our brief urges the Fourth Circuit to reverse the decision of the District Court in Maryland which found that neither Wikimedia Foundation — which runs Wikipedia — nor the other plaintiffs in the case, had standing to challenge that surveillance.
Today we filed a brief in the U.S. Supreme Court urging the High Court to reverse decisions from the Supreme Court of North Dakota and Minnesota which authorized police to force drivers to submit to warrantless blood and breath tests. We urge the Court to apply to principles of its prior decisions in United States v. Jones, and Florida v. Jardines, which re-established the property basis of the Fourth Amendment. We oppose reliance on the modern notion that the Fourth Amendment only protected a nontextual “expectation of privacy” — a false notion on which the two state supreme courts relied.
SCOTUSblog published a preview of the oral argument in Rodriguez v. United States, and discussed our amicus brief:
“One amicus brief was filed in support of each side. While the parties avoid the question whether a dog sniff is a “search,” the U.S. Justice Foundation argues in support of Rodriguez that the Jardines and Jones decisions should call Caballes into question on this point, and that a dog sniff of one’s car should not be allowed without independent Fourth Amendment justification. Pitching a portion of its argument, apparently, at common-law enthusiasts such as Justice Scalia and Justice Clarence Thomas, this amicus brief cites political philosopher John Locke from 1690 (about property rights, not cars, of course).”
Today, our firm filed an amicus curiae brief in the U.S. Supreme Court, urging that the Fourth Amendment be applied to all searches and seizures of automobiles. We asked the Court to leave no latitude for judges to compromise away the constitutionally-protected civil liberties of Americans to serve the “needs” of law enforcement.
Today, our firm filed an amicus curiae brief in the U.S. Supreme Court in support of a North Carolina man who challenged the constitutionality of his traffic stop. A police officer pulled Heien over because his car’s right rear brake light was not functioning properly. However, North Carolina law requires only one working rear “lamp.”
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