Federal Court Upholds Ban on Warrantless GPS Tracking of Suspects - GovernmentVideo.com

Federal Court Upholds Ban on Warrantless GPS Tracking of Suspects

Ruled as violation of the defendant’s Fourth Amendment rights as well as the defendant’s “reasonable expectation of privacy.”
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In a five to four split, a federal appellate court upheld a lower court’s ruling that law enforcement agencies need to obtain a warrant to use the “global positioning system” (GPS) to track a suspect.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia denied a Department of Justice request for reconsideration of a three-judge panel’s ruling that warrantless GPS tracking violated the defendant’s Fourth Amendment rights as well as the defendant’s “reasonable expectation of privacy.”

The case involved the use of the GPS to track a drug suspect, and Judge Douglas Ginsburg wrote the majority opinion saying, “a reasonable person does not expect anyone to monitor and retain a record of every time he drives his car, including his origin, route, destination and each place he stops and how long he stays there.”

Writing for the full court’s four dissenters, Chief Circuit Judge David Bryan Sentelle said the court’s ruling is inconsistent with other appellate decisions and “controlling Supreme Court precedent.”

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