WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court ruled unanimously Monday that police must get a search warrant before using GPS technology to track criminal suspects.Read the rest here.
The GPS device helped authorities link Washington, D.C., nightclub owner Antoine Jones to a suburban house used to stash money and drugs. He was sentenced to life in prison before the appeals court overturned the conviction.
Associate Justice Antonin Scalia said that the government’s installation of a GPS device, and its use to monitor the vehicle’s movements, constitutes a search, meaning that a warrant is required.
“By attaching the device to the Jeep” that Jones was using, “officers encroached on a protected area,” Scalia wrote.
All nine justices agreed that the placement of the GPS on the Jeep violated the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable search and seizure.
Scalia wrote the main opinion of three in the case. He was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas and Sonia Sotomayor.
This is an important blow for civil liberties. And for the second time in the same year we have a rare unanimous decision.