The Supreme Court Rules Police Need Search Warrant To Search Cell Phones

In Riley v. California, a unanimous Supreme Court ruled that police need a search warrant to search cell phones and other electronic devices. Chief  Justice Robert noted that “ninety percent of Americans have them [cell phones]… and they contain a digital record of nearly every aspect of their lives — from the mundane to the intimate.”

Moreover, Justice Roberts wrote that “Even the word cellphone is a misnomer… they could just as easily be called cameras, video players, Rolodexes, calendars, tape recorders, libraries, diaries, albums, televisions, maps or newspapers.”

Writing for the Court, Chief Justice Roberts acknowledged that the High Court’s decision would make law enforcement more difficult, but reasoned that privacy comes at a cost.