First Circuit Rules That Police Need a Warrant to Search A Cell Phone Incident to Arrest

I’ve blogged a few times about the substantial lower court division on whether the police can search a seized cell phone incident to arrest without a warrant under the Fourth Amendment. Today the First Circuit further deepened the split in United States v. Wurie by holding that a warrant is required.

With Wurie today and the Florida Supreme Court’s decision in Smallwood a few weeks ago, I would think that Supreme Court review of this legal question is highly likely sometime soon. (Notably, Deputy SG Michael Dreeben argued Wurie for DOJ.)

For my own views on the question, see my short essay Foreword: Accounting for Technological Change, 36 Harv. J. L. & Pub. Pol’y 403 (2013).