The President Barack Obama administration is claiming that authorities do not need court warrants to affix GPS devices to vehicles to monitor their every move.
The administration maintains that position despite the Supreme Court’s infamous decision last year that concluded that attaching the GPS devices amounted to search protected by the Constitution.
The administration is set to make its argument Tuesday before a federal appeals court in a case testing the parameters of the high court’s 2012 decision. If the government prevails, the high court’s ruling would be virtually meaningless.
“This case is the government’s primary hope that it does not need a judge’s approval to attach a GPS device to a car,” Catherine Crump, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, said in a telephone interview.
Crump will square off on the issue Tuesday with the Obama administration before the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia.
The question of whether probable-cause warrants issued by a judge are needed is an open one because the high court stopped short of answering it. The court ruled in January, 2012, that attaching the device amounted to a constitutionally protected search because it was a trespass on a private vehicle.
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