Court seemingly at odds over cell phones and searches

Story highlights

  • Justices examine issue with potentially far-reaching impact
  • Court again examines legal rights in an evolving area of criminal investigation
  • The question is whether police need a warrant to search data on cell phones during an arrest
The Supreme Court was at odds Tuesday in trying to balance the level of privacy cell phone owners deserve with legitimate concerns of law enforcement.
In oral arguments, the justices tackled the collision of a fundamental constitutional right with omnipresent technology reshaping personal communications, and in many cases, society.
The issue: when and whether police must obtain a warrant to search data on the cell phone of a person under arrest.
What was clear after two hours was that strict constitutional rules favoring one side or the other were not likely to emerge from a seemingly divided and cautious court again examining Fourth Amendment protections in an