Supreme Court Litigation Clinic to Argue Digital Phone Search Case 1

In January, the Supreme Court granted the Supreme Court Litigation Clinic’s petition for certiorari in Riley v. California.  The petition, drafted last spring by Julia Reese ’13, Ben Chagnon ’14, and Seth Lloyd ’14, presents the question whether the Fourth Amendment allows police officers to search the digital contents of smart phones they seize from people incident to arrest, without seeking any kind of warrant or judicial authorization.  Ben and Seth worked during the winter quarter, with the assistance of Professor Jeff Fisher and in collaboration with the Juelsgaard Intellectual Property and Innovation Clinic, to draft the clinic’s opening brief on the merits.  This spring, the clinic will draft a reply brief and travel to Washington, D.C. for the oral argument on April 29.  Excitement is running high: the case offers the Court its first opportunity to opine on the scope of privacy in the digital age and could produce a landmark decision.