Orin Kerr writes:
The Supreme Court recently granted cert on two cases about how the Fourth Amendment applies to the search incident to an arrest of a cell phone found on a person arrested. In textual terms, when is a search of a cell phone incident to arrest constitutionally “reasonable”? In this post, I want to lay out some of the possible Fourth Amendment rules that the Court might consider to answer that question. I’ll start with a basic introduction to the rationales of the search incident to arrest exception. I’ll then offer a few possible rules the Court might adopt to answer when a cell phone can be searched under the exception. Next, I’ll turn to possible rules for how broadly a search should extend under the exception if/when such searches are allowed. In future posts, I’ll offer some thoughts on how the Court might choose among the rules.
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