I wouldn’t say the court “expanded” cell phone privacy rights as much as properly recognized them.
Chuck Lindell reports:
Expanding the notion of privacy rights in the digital age, the state’s highest criminal court ruled Wednesday that police improperly searched a Huntsville student’s cell phone without a warrant, even though the device had been sitting in a jail property room.
The 8-1 ruling by the Court of Criminal Appeals rejected prosecutors’ arguments that officials may search any item that belongs to a jail inmate if there is probable cause to believe a law had been broken.
In its ruling Wednesday, the Court of Criminal Appeals rejected prosecution arguments that a cell phone is no different from other containers, such as a pair of pants or bag of groceries, that lack privacy protections and can be searched in jail.
The warrantless search of Granville’s cell phone violated the U.S. Constitution’s protection against unreasonable search and seizure — “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects” as guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment, the court ruled.
Read more on American-Statesman.
- Opinion in Texas v. Granville
- Concurrence in Texas v. Granville
- Dissent in Texas v. Granville
h/t, Michael Scarcella
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