Last week the state ruled it could perform warrantless wiretaps, today it has ruled that it can track your location through your cellular phone without a warrant:
On Tuesday, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that law enforcement officials don’t need a warrant to track suspects via cellphones. Attorneys argued to overturn Skinner’s many convictions, citing that the GPS location information that led to the defendant’s arrest was obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment, which guards against unreasonable searches and seizures. This didn’t wash with the majority of judges over the case, who voted in a 2-1 ruling.
“When criminals use modern technological devices to carry out criminal acts and to reduce the possibility of detection, they can hardly complain when the police take advantage of the inherent characteristics of those very devices to catch them,” wrote Judge John Rogers in the majority opinion that will affect future cases in a huge chunk of the country.
So much for the Fourth Amendment. Unfortunately if one tries to argue this case on constitutional grounds they’re faced also accepting another constitutional idea, that the courts maintain a monopoly on interpreting the Constitution. Therefore when one says warrantless tracking of cell phones is unconstitutional they much also accept that they don’t actually have a say in whether or not such acts are unconstitutional as the Constitution grants such authority to the state’s courts. I think Lysander Spooner was correct when he said the following:
But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain — that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist.