One of the areas of focus by CLDEF has been to urge courts to return to a proper, historic understanding of the Fourth Amendment as a protection of property rights. That approach was adopted by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2012 in the United States v. Jones case. Nonetheless, many lawyers and judges continue to evaluate Fourth Amendment challenges as though the Amendment only protected a person’s “reasonable expectation of privacy.” Of course, the word privacy is not even in the Constitution. That test is being used by judges who wish to be able to decide cases however they want — rather than as the Framers specified in the Constitutional text. In this case, a service member had his cell phone unconstitutionally searched and seized, and our brief explains how the property principles were violated, based on a textual and contextual analysis of the Fourth Amendment.
As required in District Court, we also filed a motion for leave to file that amicus brief.