On June 22, 2018, the United States Supreme Court held in Carpenter v. United States that law enforcement agencies must obtain a warrant supported by probable cause to obtain historical cell-site location information (“CSLI”) from third-party providers. The government argued in Carpenter that it could access historical CSLI through a court order alone under the Stored Communications Act (the “SCA”). Under 18 U.S.C. § 2703(d), obtaining an SCA court order for stored records only requires the government to “offer specific and articulable facts showing that there are reasonable grounds.” However, in a split 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court held that the Fourth Amendment requires law enforcement agencies to obtain a warrant supported by probable cause to obtain historical CSLI. Continue Reading Supreme Court Holds Warrant Required to Obtain Historical Cell Phone Location Information

On January 24, 2017, the UK Supreme Court handed down its judgment in the case of R (on the application of Miller and another) (Respondents) v. Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union (Appellant) [2017] UKSC 5. The case concerned the process to be followed to effect the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union and, in particular, whether the UK government may commence the UK’s withdrawal using executive powers, or whether Parliamentary approval is required. The Supreme Court held, by majority, that the UK government cannot commence the UK’s withdrawal from the EU without the approval of Parliament. Continue Reading UK Supreme Court Rules That Parliament Must Have Brexit Vote

As we previously reported, the Supreme Court’s decision in Spokeo v. Robins has been nearly universally lauded by defense counsel as a new bulwark against class actions alleging technical violations of federal statutes. It may be that. But Spokeo also poses a significant threat to defendants by defeating their ability to remove exactly the types of cases that defendants most want in federal court. The decision circumscribes the federal jurisdiction, with all its advantages, that defendants have enjoyed under Class Action Fairness Act (“CAFA”) for the past decade. Continue Reading Will Spokeo Undermine CAFA?

On May 16, 2016, the United States Supreme Court issued a decision in Spokeo Inc. v. Thomas Robins, holding 6-2 that the Ninth Circuit’s ruling applied an incomplete analysis when it failed to consider both aspects of the injury-in-fact requirement under Article III. Writing for the Court, Justice Samuel Alito found that a consumer could not sue Spokeo, Inc., an alleged consumer reporting agency that operates a “people search engine,” for a mere statutory violation without alleging actual injury. Continue Reading Supreme Court Finds Consumers Must Prove Injury in Class Actions

On June 25, 2014, the United States Supreme Court issued a unanimous opinion in Riley v. California, holding 9-0 that law enforcement personnel cannot search detained suspects’ cell phones without a warrant. Writing for the Court, Chief Justice John Roberts found that the practice of searching cell phones implicates “substantially greater” individual privacy interests than other physical objects that may be found on an arrestee and deserves heightened protections. Roberts stated:

Continue Reading Supreme Court Finds Warrantless Cell Phone Searches Unconstitutional

As reported in the Hunton Employment & Labor Perspectives Blog:

On March 19, 2013, in Standard Fire Insurance Co .v. Knowles, the United States Supreme Court ruled that stipulations by a named plaintiff on behalf of a proposed class prior to class certification cannot serve as the basis for avoiding federal jurisdiction under the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 (“CAFA”).

Continue Reading Supreme Court Limits Plaintiffs Ability to Cap Damages Prior to Class Certification

On February 26, 2013, the United States Supreme Court decided in Clapper v. Amnesty International that U.S. persons who engage in communications with individuals who may be potential targets of surveillance under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (“FISA”) lack standing to challenge the statute’s constitutionality. The Supreme Court determined that the plaintiffs’ alleged injuries were not “certainly impending” and that the measures they claimed to have taken to avoid surveillance were not “fairly traceable” to the challenged statute. Although this 5-4 decision would not be considered a “privacy” or “data breach” case, the Court’s analysis will have a significant impact on such cases going forward, and may thwart the ability of individuals affected by data breaches to assert standing based on possible future harm.

Continue Reading Supreme Court Finds Lack of Standing to Challenge Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act

On January 23, 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its ruling in the landmark United States v. Jones case, holding 9-0 that attaching a GPS device to a suspect’s car to monitor the vehicle’s movements constitutes a Fourth Amendment search that requires a warrant.  Writing for the Court, Justice Scalia found that it was not necessary to determine whether Jones had a “reasonable expectation of privacy” in the underbody of his Jeep parked on a public street because the search violated the Court’s traditional common-law trespass test.  Scalia stated:

“It is important to be clear about what occurred in this case: The Government physically occupied private property for the purpose of obtaining information. We have no doubt that such a physical intrusion would have been considered a ‘search’ within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment when it was adopted.”

We reported on U.S. v. Jones in November of last year, when the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case.

On November 8, 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments in United States v. Jones, a case examining the Fourth Amendment implications of warrantless GPS tracking of suspects’ vehicles. The Court directed the parties to brief and argue “whether the government violated respondent’s Fourth Amendment rights by installing the GPS tracking device on his vehicle without a valid warrant and without his consent.”

Continue Reading Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments in Landmark GPS Tracking Case