The Supreme Court had decisions on four more cases today, though only three opinions because the two cell phone cases were treated as one. In a unanimous decision the Court ruled that a warrant is required to search an individual’s cell phone.
In his opinion for the Court Chief Justice Roberts wrote, “The fact that technology now allows an individual to carry such information in his hand does not make the information any less worthy of the protection for which the founders fought.”
In another significant decision concerning technology Justice Breyer delivered the opinion in ABC v. Aereo in which the broadcast network’s copyright protection triumphed over Aereo’s innovative program delivery model that sought to bypass royalties.
That leaves four decisions in argued cases – three from January, one from March – to be announced. It is expected that the Court will meet two more days since the chief justice has not yet announced the final day as is custom.
Overshadowed by yesterday’s affirmative action opinion in Schuette were arguments in two newsworthy cases, Susan B. Anthony List v. Driehaus, and ABC v. Aereo.
“Ministry of Truth” was the Orwellian label SBA List’s lawyer, Michael Carvin, used when referring to an Ohio law that makes it a crime to use false statement in an election campaign.
The lawyer for the State of Ohio reminded the Court that issue is not the constitutionality of the law, but whether plaintiffs can show harm.
The second case argued was about a company, Aereo, Inc., that stores broadcast TV programs, which it then makes available to consumers who pay for an individual “antenna”. The broadcast networks say this is simply a work around to avoid copyright.
The lawyer for Aereo, David Frederick, tried to convince the Justices that his client only “is attempting to entice consumers to replicate on the cloud what they can do at home at lower cap costs and more efficiency.”
“. . if all they have is a gimmick,” said Clement in rebuttal, “then they probably will go out of business and nobody should cry a tear over that.”