April 28, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: media@aclu.org

NEW YORK – On Tuesday, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in a pair of cases raising the question of whether police may search a suspect’s cell phone without a warrant when a person is arrested.

Steven R. Shapiro, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union, had this comment:

“The search of a cell phone today can reveal as much about ourselves as the search of a home.  The police generally need a warrant before they search our homes and they should need a warrant before they search our phones. Those rules do not change merely because someone has been arrested. A person who has been arrested can be searched for weapons or to prevent the destruction of evidence, but allowing the police to rummage through the contents of a cell phone without a warrant serves neither goal.”

The cases are Riley v. California and U.S. v. Wurie.

The ACLU’s amicus brief is at:
aclu.org/sites/default/files/assets/13-132_tsac_american_civil_liberties_union.pdf

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