Government asks Supreme Court to rule on warrantless GPS tracking http://jurist.org/paperchase/2011/04/government-asks-supreme-court-to-rule-on-warrantless-gps-tracking.php
The Obama administration on Friday asked [cert. petition, PDF] the US Supreme Court [official website] to determine whether police need warrants to track a suspect's movement using global position systems (GPS) technology. The government is appealing last year's lower court decision that prohibits the use of warrantless GPS technology [JURIST report]. In that decision, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit [official website] ruled that prolonged use of GPS to monitor suspects' vehicles violates the Fourth Amendment [text] protection against unreasonable searches and seizures. The government rejects the argument that using a GPS tracking system violates a suspect's reasonable expectation of privacy. This view hinges on the Supreme Court decision in United States v. Knotts [opinion, PDF], which allowed for electronic surveillance in public based on a lower expectation of privacy on public roads. The Supreme Court's resolution on the issue, the Justice Department believes, is critical for future law enforcement decisions.