Fourth Amendment

Future-Proofing the Fourth Amendment

June 25, 2018

In Carpenter v. United States, Chief Justice John Roberts began the process of future-proofing the Fourth Amendment. In a majority opinion marked by technological sophistication and powerful arguments about arbitrary government surveillance, but overshadowed by four separate dissenting opinions, Carpenter both reframes the Fourth Amendment and reveals its fractured soul. To understand Carpenter is to…

Carpenter and the Property Vocabulary

December 8, 2017

Last week, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Carpenter v. United States, which will decide whether the government may acquire — without a warrant, and without probable cause — records of a person’s movements, using cell-site location information. It was a lively argument, but I’m going to focus on Justice Gorsuch’s questions about what…

Carpenter and Our Third-Party Future

October 27, 2017

Later this year, the Supreme Court will hear argument in Carpenter v. United States. The question presented is whether the government may, without a warrant and without probable cause, obtain your location information from a third party that has it (like your cell-phone provider). In Carpenter, the government learned where a criminal suspect had gone…