The Future of the Fourth Amendment in a Digital Evidence Context: Where Would the Supreme Court Draw the Electronic Line at the International Border?
Thomas M. Cooley Law School
Mississippi Law Journal, Vol. 81, No. 5, 2012
Using a case involving an international border search of a laptop, this Article explores the future of the Fourth Amendment in a digital evidence context. Section I reviews Abidor v. Napolitano, a case recently filed by the ACLU and other entities asserting that United States border patrol policies that allow full searches of electronic storage devices, like a laptop computer, without any individualized suspicion violates the Fourth Amendment. Section II summarizes what other courts have ruled in similar contexts. Section III briefly examines Supreme Court border search cases and other arguably applicable Supreme Court opinions. Section IV considers an assortment of concepts in an attempt to examine how a future panel of the United States Supreme Court might rule if faced with the issues presented in Abidor. The Article concludes with parting reflections on how a future panel of the Supreme Court might rule.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 46
Keywords: Fourth Amendment, search and seizure, border, laptop, electronic storage device, United States Supreme Court, Abidor v. NapolitanoAccepted Paper Series
Date posted: October 9, 2013
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