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California Governor Vetoes Ban On Warrantless Phone Searches 462

Posted by Soulskill
from the take-that-citizens dept.
kodiaktau writes "In probably the most important decision Gov. Brown of California will make this year, he has vetoed the bill that would require officers to get a search warrant before searching cellular phones of arrested citizens. This further enables the police to carry out warrantless searches of private property extending into contacts, email, photos, banking activity, GPS, and other functions that are controlled by modern phones. 'He cites a recent California Supreme Court decision upholding the warrantless searches of people incident to an arrest. In his brief message (PDF), he also doesn’t say whether it’s a good idea or not. Instead, he says the state Supreme Court’s decision is good enough, a decision the U.S. Supreme Court let stand last week.'"
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California Governor Vetoes Ban On Warrantless Phone Searches

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 10, 2011 @08:20PM (#37673158)

    I'd like a remote backup and 1-button wipe app...

  • by Scott Swezey (678347) on Monday October 10, 2011 @08:28PM (#37673238) Homepage

    Wow. It was my impression that the supreme court judged cases based on existing law, and the legislature wrote new law. Perhaps the legislature wrote this law because it disagreed with the recent court decision. Part of why the legislature exists is to create and/or update laws in response to changing times and public opinion.

    To Governor Brown: If the supreme court believes this law is unconstitutional, they can strike it down. Don't overstep your powers and do this for them. Unless *YOU,* on behalf of your constituents, have a specific objection: let the law pass.

    (For the record, I live in CA and voted for Jerry Brown in the last election)

  • Override? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Mr. Shotgun (832121) on Monday October 10, 2011 @08:29PM (#37673246)

    According to TFA, the bill was approved with 70-0 in the assembly and 32-4 in the state senate. Can't they just override this asshat?

  • As I understand it from reading Prof. Orin Kerr's blogs and law review articles, this is a developing area of Constitutional law. Searches incident arrest are not intended to be something that allows an officer to search all locked containers within arms reach of the suspect when he is arrested, as I understand it. So the question really comes down to what category a phone falls into. And not all phones may be created equal. It may be that smart phones are entitled to more protection than low-end cell phones. But as the US Supreme Court has not been clear on this yet, it's up to the state and circuit courts to try to sort this issue out.

    So in the end, the veto may or may not amount to anything.

  • Re:Override? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ShakaUVM (157947) on Monday October 10, 2011 @09:22PM (#37673748) Homepage Journal

    >>Yes, I suppose you are right, the article also links to the fact that Brown took a sizable amount of donations from various police organizations for his reelection campaign.

    Which also explains why California just banned open carry. (http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20118261-503544.html)

    I love how they can take the second amendment, which guarantees the right to "bear" arms, and then pretend that word simply doesn't exist.

    Arnie wasn't nearly as bad as Governor Moonbeam.

  • by CodeBuster (516420) on Monday October 10, 2011 @10:58PM (#37674598)

    How many will also buy the official line about why they did it, which likely includes 'public safety or protecting the children'

    It's hard to argue that public safety is enhanced when you're releasing tens of thousands of prisoners [nytimes.com] because the state is broke. If you live in California and haven't yet invested in an alarm system and a firearm, now might be a good time.

  • by AngryDeuce (2205124) on Monday October 10, 2011 @11:31PM (#37674848)

    Hey, I'm all for taking a stand, but at the end of the day, I'm gonna cover my ass by making sure the phone they search is useless anyway. Being legally in the right doesn't much matter when they can make your life miserable regardless.

    Hope for the best, prepare for the worst. It's the people that assume their "rights" will protect them that end up losing every damn time. Better to assume they won't and leave them with nothing either way.

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