SEARCH WARRANT FOR CELL PHONES ISSUE MAY BE HEADED TO U.S. SUPREME COURT
By Joe Palazzolo Federal appeals judges pressed the nation’s top court to resolve a deepening split among their colleagues over whether police need a warrant to search the cell phone of someone under arrest.
In a 2-1 decision in May, the First U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals held that Boston police
needed a warrant to search the cell phone of a man arrested in 2007 for suspected drug
dealing, putting it at odds with several other federal appeals courts as well as
the highest state court in Massachusetts.
Earlier this month, Justice Department lawyers asked the First Circuit to rehear the
case, saying in court papers that the conflicting rulings had sown confusion in the law
enforcement community and created a “substantial and unjustifiable obstacle to
investigations and prosecutions.”
The court declined on Monday. But at least two First Circuit judges said they voted
against rehearing the case in order to speed its path to the U.S. Supreme Court. . . . .