OTHER VOICES

21st century search and seizure

Posted Jan. 27, 2012, at 4:46 p.m.

The U.S. Supreme Court demonstrated that the U.S. Constitution is flexible enough to handle 21st century, high-tech issues, but it is solid enough to protect citizens’ rights even when dealing with such issues.

And by the way, the court did so unanimously.

The court ruled that police must obtain a search warrant before using Global Positioning System technology to track a criminal suspect. Justices said that when law enforcement attaches a GPS unit to someone’s vehicle — as was done in a Washington, D.C., case that reached the Supreme Court — it amounts to a search and therefore a warrant is required.

That’s exactly the correct determination. Just because new technology makes it easier to track a person’s activities without going through the procedures that were once required, doesn’t mean that citizens give up their Fourth Amendment protections against illegal searches and seizures.

The Daily Sentinel, Grand Junction, Colo. (Jan. 25)

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