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Warnken, LLC Attorneys at Law, Attorneys & Lawyers, Pikesville, MD

Professor Warnken Interviewed Regarding Supreme Court Decision on GPS Tracking

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On June 27, 2011, the Supreme Court of the United States agreed to decide when the Government violates the fourth Amendment prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures when it secretly attaches a global positioning system (GPS) to a vehicle to track the movement of its driver and passengers.  The Government argues that there is no reasonable expectation of privacy in where a vehicle is located, and drivers and passengers already accept the risk that someone would follow them to learn their whereabouts.  The defense bar argues that citizens have a reasonable expectation of privacy that the Government will not track their whereabouts on a “24-7” basis for months at a time. 

Professor Warnken predicted that the Government will prevail.  He noted that (1) the Supreme Court is pro-Government on issues of Fourth Amendment search and seizure; (2) in the Supreme Court, the side that persuades the Court to take the case usually wins (the Government took this case to the Supreme Court); (3) the Supreme Court has held many times that Defendants have a lesser expectation of privacy in vehicles, when compared to homes and personal effects; (4) a quarter century ago, the Supreme Court permitted placing beepers on vehicles.