Supreme Court hears arguments in historic cellphone tracking case

Daily News Article - December 4, 2017


1. Write out the text of the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution.

2. Define the following as used in the article:
-oral arguments
-search warrant
-unreasonable searches
-court order
-probable cause
-right to privacy

3. a) How many justices are on the Supreme Court?
b) List the Supreme Court justices and their current ages.

4. Describe the case Carpenter v. US that the justices heard on Wednesday.

5. What is the issue in Carpenter v. US?

6. On what grounds did Timothy Carpenter’s attorney Nathan Freed of the ACLU argue the case?

7. From paragraph 16:
The Supreme Court in recent years has acknowledged technology’s effects on privacy. In 2014, the court held unanimously that police must generally get a warrant to search the cellphones of people they arrest. Other items people carry with them may be looked at without a warrant after an arrest.
a) Do you think the court made the correct decision that police must obtain a search warrant to search the phone of a person they have arrested? Explain your answer.
b) Do you think the justices should rule in favor of the plaintiff? (Was it constitutional for police to obtain a court order that required a lower standard than the “probable cause” needed to obtain a search warrant?) Explain your answer.

8. What do you think? Is it unreasonable and/or unconstitutional for authorities to be required to obtain a search warrant to track a suspect’s cell phone when they have probable cause? How about the electronic toll paying pass of a suspect? If a search warrant is not required for a suspect’s land-line telephone records, should it be for cell phone records? Explain your answer.