Gorsuch and the Fourth Amendment
March 17, 2017

“During his nearly 30 years on the Supreme Court, the late Justice Antonin Scalia was perhaps best known for his commitment to originalism – the idea that the Constitution should be interpreted as it would have been understood by the Founders. Scalia’s dedication to originalism extended to the Fourth Amendment, which protects against unreasonable searches and seizures by the government. And it often meant that a justice whom many regarded as “conservative” reached pro-defendant results. For example, Scalia wrote the court’s 2012 decision in United States v. Jones, holding that a “search” took place when police officers attached a GPS device to the car of a suspected drug dealer and then used the device to track the car’s movements. Scalia and four other justices agreed that the installation and use of the device were no different, for constitutional purposes, than if the government had gone onto Jones’s property to collect information to use against him. This kind of ‘trespassing’ would have been a “search” when the Fourth Amendment was first adopted in the 18th century, and so it is still a ‘search’ today.”

Read article

Get the newsletter