Skip to comments.Low-level federal judges balking at law enforcement requests for electronic evidence
Posted on 04/24/2014 5:12:21 PM PDT by Second Amendment First
Judges at the lowest levels of the federal judiciary are balking at sweeping requests by law enforcement officials for cellphone and other sensitive personal data, declaring the demands overly broad and at odds with basic constitutional rights.
This rising assertiveness by magistrate judges the worker bees of the federal court system has produced rulings that elate civil libertarians and frustrate investigators, forcing them to meet or challenge tighter rules for collecting electronic evidence.
The seeds of what legal observers have dubbed the Magistrates Revolt date back several years, but it has gained power amid mounting public anger about government surveillance capabilities revealed by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden. Judges have been especially sensitive to backlash over the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which made secret rulings key to the growth of the surveillance programs.
Central to the cases before magistrate judges has been the Fourth Amendment s prohibition of unreasonable search and seizure. Inspired by the Founding Fathers unhappy memories of the aggressive tactics by British soldiers, it has been continually reinterpreted through more than two centuries of technological change.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
I had an officer tell me that the constitution was a 200 year old piece of paper that got in the way of him doing his job.
Get THAT on tape.
You mean they are going to have to present "probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized"? Good. As much as I like to see criminals arrested, prosecuted, convicted, and imprisoned forever, I only like it when the Constitution is followed verbatim.
Magistrates don’t have to be approved by the politicians.
That SOB has no business being a cop.
Good, very good.
The States are building “fusion centers”, in some cases outside the state boarder. These databases will be linked to federal databases. It’s not hard to imagine some unspoken “temporary data exchanges” being set up, where data can be exchanged with very limited access (two individuals) and subsequently deleted by either.
There was a story locally about a prison guard accessing medical records of a free civilian. Seems the prison guard had a pitbull, because how could you be cool without one, and this pitbull bit a 12 year old on his street. A lawsuit was a very a distinct possibility. The prison has a single officer with access to local hospital records, so they can confirm the prisoner’s claims about their medical conditions. The guards conspired to access the 12 year olds private records. => The point being, if something can be abused it WILL be abused.
Exactly as intended by our founders. Those on the tax dole think they're above the law - "laws for thee and not for me".
100% true. Who are watching the watchers? "Procedures" are not enough.
This is very good news.
“In the United States federal courts, magistrate judges are appointed to assist United States district court judges in the performance of their duties.
“While district judges are nominated by the President and confirmed by the United States Senate for lifetime tenure, magistrate judges are appointed by a majority vote of the federal district judges of a particular district and serve terms of eight years if full-time, or four years if part-time, and may be reappointed.
“As of March 2009 there are 517 full-time and 42 part-time authorized magistrate judgeships, as well as one position combining magistrate judge and clerk of court.
“Magistrate judges generally oversee first appearances of criminal defendants, set bail, and conduct other administrative duties. The authority that a magistrate judge exercises is the jurisdiction of the district court itself, delegated to the magistrate judge by the district judges of the court under governing statutory authority and local rules of court.”
I wonder what his job is.