The Supreme Court on Monday let stand a ruling that the police can search text messages from an arrested criminal suspect’s cell phone without obtaining a warrant.
The justices refused to review the California Supreme Court ruling that upheld the search on the grounds that defendants lose their privacy rights for any items they are carrying when taken into custody.
The Supreme Court rejected without comment an appeal by Gregory Diaz, who was convicted on drug charges. His attorneys said Supreme Court intervention was needed to resolve differing lower court rulings on how to apply precedent to warrantless searches of cell phone data.
Read more on Reuters.
I’m not sure how I feel about them passing on this case. On the one hand, it would be nice to have a clear statement in light of conflicting decisions across states, but on the other hand, if they are going to rule “the wrong way” (i.e., no warrant required), then maybe I should rejoice that they’ve passed on this.