Supreme Court Halts Warrantless Cellphone Searches

Law360, New York (June 25, 2014, 10:31 AM EDT) -- The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday barred law enforcement personnel from searching detained suspects' cellphones without a warrant, ruling that the practice deserved heightened protections because cellphones contain more personal information than any other object someone could be carrying.

In a unanimous opinion written by Chief Justice John Roberts, the high court handed down a sweeping endorsement of citizens' digital privacy rights by reversing a California appellate court's holding that warrantless cellphone searches incident to arrest are lawful while upholding a First Circuit ruling that nixed evidence gathered from a similar personal cellphone search.

The government had urged the justices to...

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