More warrantless searches, more abortion and more Second Amendment

More warrantless searches, more abortion and more Second Amendment

This week we highlight petitions that ask the Supreme Court to consider, among other things, the level of suspicion required before the government can search electronic devices at the border, whether New York can require the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany to cover abortion in its employee health care plan, and whether New Jersey’s ban on certain firearm magazines violates the Second or Fifth Amendments. On Monday, a unanimous Supreme Court ruled in Caniglia v. Strom that a “community caretaking exception” to the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement did not justify police officers’ removal of firearms from the home of a man they believed was suicidal. Merchant v. Mayorkas tests the boundaries of another Fourth Amendment exception, which allows warrantless searches at the border. The challengers are a group of U.S. citizens whose smartphones and laptops were searched at the border while they were re-entering the United States from traveling abroad. Although the district court ruled that the government must have reasonable suspicion that a device contains digital contraband because of the privacy concerns of electronic searches, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit reversed. The 1st Circuit upheld suspicion-less “basic” searches, and it authorized warrantless “advanced” searches with reasonable suspicion. In their petition, the challengers argue that the lower courts are split on how the Fourth Amendment applies to searches of electronic devices at the border. In bigger news from Monday, the Supreme Court agreed to take up Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization , a challenge […]

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