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Supreme Court ruling paves way for Amendment 9


Saint Louis, Mo. — The United States Supreme Court issued a ruling on privacy and cell phones today that appears to support a proposed change to Missouri’s constitution on the 2014 primary ballot.

Sen. Rob Schaaf
Sen. Rob Schaaf

Rep. Paul Curtman and Sen. Rob Schaaf are championing the Missouri Electronic Data Protection language, Amendment 9. The amendment, if approved by voters, reads: Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to that people shall be secure in their electronic communications and data from unreasonable searches and seizures as they are now likewise secure in their persons, homes, papers and effects?

Schaaf told The Missouri Times last week that no other state in the union had enshrined such protections. Today’s ruling from the Supreme Court may help silence some of the legal critics of the amendment, who argued it was too broad.

Some, including a few newspaper editorial boards, have said the amendment is too broadly drawn and, without enough existing case law on the manner, likely to be challenged in court.

But the U.S. Supreme Court ruled today that the right of officers to search an arrested person on the scene usually does not extend to the person’s cell phone. The ruling is one of the broadest on digital privacy in the court’s history, and likely will serve as the basis for numerous challenges to digital privacy violations in the future.

The cases are Riley v. California and U.S. v. Wurie.