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Florida Supreme Court Rules Police Need Warrant To Search Cell Phones

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the your-terrible-amateur-photography-is-safe-from-prying-eyes dept.

Cellphones 107

An anonymous reader writes "In a case stemming from a Jacksonville burglary, the Florida Supreme Court ruled 5-2 Thursday that police must get a search warrant before searching someone's cell phone. 'At this time, we cannot ignore that a significant portion of our population relies upon cell phones for email communications, text message information, scheduling, and banking,' read the majority opinion (PDF), authored by Justice Fred Lewis. 'The position of the dissent, which would permit the search here even though no issue existed with regard to officer safety or evidence preservation, is both contrary to, and the antithesis of, the fundamental protections against government intrusion guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment.'"

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A win for me! (3, Interesting)

TheNastyInThePasty (2382648) | about a year and a half ago | (#43622799)

Hey, Florida's not all that bad.

Re:A win for me! (1, Funny)

TheNastyInThePasty (2382648) | about a year and a half ago | (#43622911)

Am I a troll for pointing out that Florida isn't all sunshine and flowers?

Re:A win for me! (1)

Cosgrach (1737088) | about a year and a half ago | (#43623013)

I often wonder about the mindset of people giving out mod points. I agree with you. Why were you modded a troll?

Then I realize that this is /. and reality and common sense have no business here.

Re:A win for me! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43623511)

Correctly modded to funny.

s.petry

Re:A win for me! (4, Informative)

Cutting_Crew (708624) | about a year and a half ago | (#43623015)

Well, pretty good quality of life(lots of sunshine, some good schools, tons of fun stuff to do), no state taxes.... its not all that bad at all.

Re:A win for me! (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about a year and a half ago | (#43623507)

I have lived there for some time, and been in Georgia for the last few years.

I'm moving back to FL this summer. Of all the places I've lived, FL is my favorite. (Maine, California, Georgia, Florida)

Re:A win for me! (1)

foreverdisillusioned (763799) | about a year and a half ago | (#43623591)

I think moreso than most other states of its size Florida is pretty uneven. Panhandle vs. Orlando area vs. Miami area are just completely different worlds. Different cultures, different terrain, different climate, different activities. The only constants I can think of offhand that matter are the firearm laws, homestead exemption and lack of state income tax.

Re:A win for me! (1)

Cutting_Crew (708624) | about a year and a half ago | (#43623823)

very true. Panhandle(Pensacola, Destin, Orange Beach) vs. Tampa/Orlando/Sarasota/Miami is totally different. the later is a great combination of rural and city live where as the first option is basically more rural with the exception of some pretty nice beaches.

Re:A win for me! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43624315)

Hello from the Atlantic Ocean, just off the Florida Keys. No jobs here, but hey, no part of Florida is perfect. It's been awhile for me, do mainlanders still greet each other with gunfire?

Re:A win for me! (3, Insightful)

Darinbob (1142669) | about a year and a half ago | (#43624267)

But it's Florida. Don't you have to take a sanity test and fail it before you're allowed to move there?

Re:A win for me! (2)

unitron (5733) | about a year and a half ago | (#43625619)

But it's Florida. Don't you have to take a sanity test and fail it before you're allowed to move there?

Moving there voluntarily counts as the test.

(actually I've never been there, and don't know enough about it to pass judgement)

Re:A win for me! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43623075)

Hey, Florida's not all that bad.

No, it's just 99% bad. Still better than California though.

Re:A win for me! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43623565)

CA is the worse for constitutional rights. Great weather, lots of jobs where I'm at, good pay, lots to do. Need to really work at that down side though.

Good (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43622811)

Now let's see if it holds up.

Re:Good (4, Interesting)

amiga3D (567632) | about a year and a half ago | (#43622861)

This will probably wind up in the Supreme Court eventually. I've been looking forward to that day.

Re:Good (0, Troll)

Cutting_Crew (708624) | about a year and a half ago | (#43623003)

The Supreme court shouldn't even be allowed to hear this case( and wasn't the original intent of duty of the supreme court), nor the case from California regarding gay marriage nor any other law that the relevant states supreme court has already ruled on. There is a REASON why each state has a supreme court. 7 black robes in Washington should not be overturning/hearing on individual state laws/rulings unless the founding papers of this great land specifically gave the Supreme Court the power to do so. In this particular case, every state ought to have a ruling on this subject and be done with it instead of one court ruling for all.

Re: Good (3, Interesting)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about a year and a half ago | (#43623145)

The Supreme court shouldn't even be allowed to hear this case( and wasn't the original intent of duty of the supreme court), nor the case from California regarding gay marriage nor any other law that the relevant states supreme court has already ruled on.

The Supreme Court has jurisdiction over federal matters. In the case of gay marriage, a federal statute called the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was being debated. If you paid attention to the arguments, the justices questioned why the federal statute was necessary and whether it interfered with the states' right to define marriage. That was one part of the cases.

The second part is whether California can define marriage differently than other states. When it comes to legal differences between states, that is appropriate for SCOTUS.

There is a REASON why each state has a supreme court. 7 black robes in Washington should not be overturning/hearing on individual state laws/rulings unless the founding papers of this great land specifically gave the Supreme Court the power to do so.

There are federal implications in the case of gay marriage.

In this particular case, every state ought to have a ruling on this subject and be done with it instead of one court ruling for all.

Should civil rights be defined differently for each state?

Re: Good (0)

NatasRevol (731260) | about a year and a half ago | (#43623199)

When it comes to legal differences between states, that is appropriate for SCOTUS.

Uh, no. That's called states' rights.

Should civil rights be defined differently for each state?

Uh, they currently are.

Re: Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43623341)

State's rights? Sure, as long as it's not something trumped by the Constitution/Bill of Rights. That's where the SCOTUS comes in. Since a lot of laws end up being argued in terms of those rights, the Supreme Court is where those arguments end up, assuming they get so far. That would include civil rights. As long as a state's laws concerning civil rights, marriage, gun control and so on don't run up against the US Constitution, you are correct that SCOTUS shouldn't be involved.

Re: Good (1, Insightful)

NatasRevol (731260) | about a year and a half ago | (#43623369)

Could you please cite where marriage is mentioned in the US Constitution?

You know, since the Federal Marriage Amendment hasn't passed yet.

Re: Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43623485)

Could you please look at the first amendment of the Bill of Rights?

You know, since religion stuck its fat nose in marriage and politics over the past couple millennia.

Re: Good (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about a year and a half ago | (#43623527)

No federal law has been made to impede the free exercise of religion on marriage.

So, what's your point?

Also, marriage != religion.

Re: Good (2, Insightful)

scot4875 (542869) | about a year and a half ago | (#43623627)

Also, marriage != religion.

Ahh, yes. Sanctity of marriage when you need it, marriage != religion when you don't. It must be nice to be able to flip flop to whatever position is suitable for you in any situation.

--Jeremy

Re: Good (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about a year and a half ago | (#43623653)

You must talking about somebody else. Or I've changed my name to Mr. Strawman.

Re: Good (1, Insightful)

moeinvt (851793) | about a year and a half ago | (#43624057)

"No federal law has been made to impede the free exercise of religion on marriage."

Married people and single people are treated differently under numerous federal laws. That's a form of discrimination one way or the other. All such laws should be repealed.

"marriage != religion."

Marriage was a religious thing long before it became a government thing.

Re: Good (1)

newcastlejon (1483695) | about a year and a half ago | (#43624883)

Marriage was a religious thing long before it became a government thing.

Marriage was a thing when the religious leaders were the government.

Re: Good (1)

cbhacking (979169) | about a year and a half ago | (#43625615)

Yeah... marriage has *always* been a legal thing (specifically, it usually falls under property laws, from archaic laws which effectively or literally defined the wife as the property of the husband up to the modern versions where it determines things like next of kin). It just used to be that laws were created by the religious leaders of the community. However, if you look back into the very earliest experiments with freedom (or at least tolerance) of religion and secular laws, they all still speak of marriage. As long as there have been governments, marriage has never *not* been a government thing.

Re: Good (1)

unitron (5733) | about a year and a half ago | (#43625649)

Marriage was a religious thing long before it became a government thing.

Marriage was a thing when the religious leaders were the government.

Or when government was the religious leader (and enforcer).

Re: Good (1)

moeinvt (851793) | about a year and a half ago | (#43624011)

I think that's what the OP is saying. "Marriage" is not in The Constitution, therefore, the federal government should have absolutely no involvement.
Marriage was a religious thing long before it found its way into law. As you point out, the First Amendment could also be construed to indicate that marriage is none of the government's business.

Re: Good (4, Insightful)

Catbeller (118204) | about a year and a half ago | (#43624567)

Slavery was legal because some states said so; we had to fight a bloody war to make the point that it was not. States are not independent. Get over it. The state's rights thing has been invoked in slavery/gay-sex-crime/keep-the-former-slaves-out-of-our-schools/miscegenation/jesus-is-king/we-can-marry-kids case for over a hundred fifty years. No matter how many times the Confederacy trots this out, we will slap it down.

Marriage was, is, and will be a government-controlled institution. You aren't married by the power of Jesus, but by the power vested by the State in the justice of the peace, or minister, or druid. And there was marriage long before we invented gods.

Moeinvt: (0)

Catbeller (118204) | about a year and a half ago | (#43624605)

My reply wasn't directed at your post particularly, so sorry if it sounded as if it were. Just a general point.

Re: Good (2)

Cutting_Crew (708624) | about a year and a half ago | (#43623525)

i dont know who are you agreeing/disagreeing with here but guns are mentioned in the constitution and thus SCOTUS can hear cases on it. marriage isnt mentioned at all like you said - thus my big response on marriage never being a right at all for anyone. The states provided a way to recognize heterosexual couples with perks, bonuses etc etc but the federal government never did institute such priviledge... so definitely that falls under the states rights. As far as general civil rights, those are only fair game if those are in the constitution. People want to sue and have the supreme court hear arguments for "rights" spanning all disciplines that are not even mentioned in any of our documents and for the supreme court to rule (i.e. make precedent, make a new law out of clear blue sky) is and was never there intention/duty. If you want to create/amend something in the constitution for them to rule on - then *GASP* get some grass roots efforts together, talk to your congressman, go visit your local mayors/townfolk, and get the appropriate number of states and votes to change/amend to the constitution whatever it is that you seek. Then they can rule on that part of the law appropriately. The case here in Florida revolves around privacy and everyone is expected to have privacy so maybe someone can link some constitutional writings that support appropriate search and seizure that is currently in the law.

Re: Good (4, Insightful)

azadrozny (576352) | about a year and a half ago | (#43623605)

While marriage is not specifically mentioned, Article 4, section 1 states, "Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State." This is what allows a couple to be married in Kansas, then move to Ohio, and not have to remarry, or otherwise register their marriage. Many are arguing that states that fail to recognize the marriage of a gay couple in another state, are in violation of this rule.

Re: Good (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about a year and a half ago | (#43623671)

That's actually the first logical point I've seen about making this a federal issue.

Re: Good (2)

amiga3D (567632) | about a year and a half ago | (#43626051)

It's the only logical point. I'm sick of the whole gay marriage issue. I could give a fuck one way or another since marriage is largely just a joke nowadays anyway. People fall madly in love, promise never to love another then find "the real love of their life" and move on. Rinse, repeat. 4 or 5 times isn't unusual. It's a joke why not let the queers in on it. That pretty much is the icing on top.

Re: Good (2)

russotto (537200) | about a year and a half ago | (#43626379)

The thing is, the Full Faith and Credit clause goes on to say

"And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof."

which IMO makes the Defense of Marriage Act (which says that certain acts have no effect whatsoever) constitutional though ill-advised.

Re: Good (2)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about a year and a half ago | (#43623621)

Lots of things aren't mentioned in the Constitution. This is why we have the 9th Amendment which makes it CRYSTAL CLEAR that the Constitution does not contain an enumeration of the rights of the people, and that not listing a right means nothing about whether or not such a right exists.

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Re: Good (2)

rossz (67331) | about a year and a half ago | (#43623783)

The constition also makes it crystal clear that the power of the Federal government is EXTREMELY limited, yet that hasn't stopped them.

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Re: Good (1)

Cutting_Crew (708624) | about a year and a half ago | (#43623883)

thanks rossz, i was just ready to paste this - in hindsight should have earlier. the federal government at its base is there to defend against attack, provide for the general welfare and a few other things. DOMA really should have been an amendment to the constitution instead of just a federal law signed by a now defunct president. It doesnt really make sense for every state to accept every law from ever other state - although wiki does separate common law vs judgements in this regard(Full Faith & Credit)

Re: Good (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about a year and a half ago | (#43624211)

The Constitution makes it very clear that states are supposed to accept each other's laws.

It's something the Founders thought made a LOT of sense.

Article Four: "Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State"

DOMA is unconstitutional just based on the fact that it attempts to get in the way of this process. It really is a miserable shitty law in every respect.

Re: Good (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about a year and a half ago | (#43624281)

The Necessary and Proper, the General Welfare clause and the Commerce clause give the federal government a lot of power.

Add this to the fact that the 10th Amendment does not contain the word 'explicitly' and you have a bunch of implied powers.

Hamilton's argument of sovereignty was also adopted by the Supreme Court in 1811 giving the Federal Government a lot of flexibility.

Re: Good (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about a year and a half ago | (#43625027)

Uh, no. That's called states' rights.

Not when a legal matter crosses state line. Currently marriage in one state is recognized by other states. If one state defines it significantly different than another, who is the arbiter? The federal courts are the arbiters.

Uh, they currently are.

Really? Please elaborate on this. Also should they be different? All police across the country must read the accused their rights. This was decided by Miranda (1966). Before then each state and local area had different rules about this. While the exact wording of the Miranda warning might change from locale the substance is still there.

Re: Good (1, Informative)

Cutting_Crew (708624) | about a year and a half ago | (#43623309)

First of all, marriage is NOT a right and never has been, even for heterosexuals. The individuals states have taken it upon themselves to allow, as a PRIVILEDGE, heterosexuals to marry legally within that state(by way of marriage certificates) and offers certain benefits within that marriage unit. The states long ago, realized that encouraging marriages between two people would be beneficial for the state because as nature would have it, a heterosexual union was the best chance for a stable environment to reproduce and raise up children who would yield future positive contributions to that state (get good jobs, pay state taxes, buy goods, etc) and then themselves get married and the cycle continues. So yes, it is a state issue, not a federal one.

DOMA was put into place as a way to keep states from recognizing any other states law regarding gay marriage. So Florida wouldnt be forced to recognize a couples gay marriage certificate from California. It doesnt stop California from deciding whether or not it wants gay marriage. I'm not sure why this even came into question. Of course California can define marriage differently. I dont think DOMA ever had in its language to prohibit individual states from defining marriage how they see fit.

The only part I didnt like about that whole California case was that the California Supreme court allowed by ruling to let the people vote on it, as long as they got enough signatures on the ballot, which they did. Then when voting time came, the majority ruled to have no gay marriage, which afterwards the same California supreme court said it was unconstitutional. Thats just odd but then again it is California.

Re: Good (2)

sconeu (64226) | about a year and a half ago | (#43623475)

DOMA was put into place as a way to keep states from recognizing any other states law regarding gay marriage. So Florida wouldnt be forced to recognize a couples gay marriage certificate from California. It doesnt stop California from deciding whether or not it wants gay marriage. I'm not sure why this even came into question.

Which is a violation of the Full Faith and Credit clause [usconstitution.net] . And therefore a matter for the Supreme Court.

Re: Good (0)

Cutting_Crew (708624) | about a year and a half ago | (#43623581)

If the full faith and credit clause is such a big deal when Bill Clinton was ready to sign it in 1996, then how is it that the supreme court(or any lower court) didn't rule on it then and stop the law from going into action?

Re: Good (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about a year and a half ago | (#43623763)

EIGHT Federal Courts have found section 3 of DOMA to be unconstitutional on various grounds.

It's just taken time for the cases to get to the Supreme Court.

Re: Good (1)

sconeu (64226) | about a year and a half ago | (#43623765)

Because the Supremes have to wait for a suit to be filed, and work its way up through the lower courts.

Re: Good (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about a year and a half ago | (#43625519)

If the full faith and credit clause is such a big deal when Bill Clinton was ready to sign it in 1996,

If African Americans are really full citizens, why did it take 150 years and a Civil War to recognize this? Just because someone did it in the past does not make it right.

then how is it that the supreme court(or any lower court) didn't rule on it then and stop the law from going into action?

This is an idiotic statement. Courts rule on cases brought to them. They don't preemptively rule on laws in cases not brought to them.

Realllly ... (3, Informative)

Gription (1006467) | about a year and a half ago | (#43623479)

So before the United States came into being there weren't any marriages!!! Hooray for the USA! ("Helping people 'hook-up' for over 200 years!!!)
... Or you are just plain wrong.

Here is a very important detail that just doesn't get noticed:
The US Constitution and Bill Of Rights DOES NOT GRANT ANY RIGHTS to the people. The people already had those rights. Those documents recognize those rights and protect those rights from intrusion by the government.

You might remember another document that said, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights. "

Yup, it is "self-evident" that these rights do not come from any gooberment proclamation. That fact that people seem to think that the government has rights over PEOPLE is one of the major problems that we have nowadays.

Re: Good (2)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about a year and a half ago | (#43623559)

The problem with banning gay marriage is the ideal of equal protection under the law, which is expressed in the 14th Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America.

States and the Federal Government pass laws that give tax benefits and other privileges to married couples, and then pass laws that restrict people from marrying based on sex.

This fundamentally wrong. It's enshrined in the 14th Amendment that "no state shall deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

There are only two ways around this. Remove laws that give privileges to married couples or make gay marriage legal.

You can't have a situation where your laws grant privileges to a specific group of people and not others. It is fundamentally WRONG.

Re: Good (1)

Cutting_Crew (708624) | about a year and a half ago | (#43623791)

the way we disagree here is that the purpose of some priviledges/perks offer to married heterosexual couples come with "package deals"(children) no pun intended. The idea was, was that heterosexual couples would have kids that would grow up to be considerate, disciplined, well rounded, stable state citizens who would then provide, as I stated above, positive contributions when they grow up and get jobs and buy stuff/pay taxes. The states are saying here, "hey we want to have stable children and children outside of a mother/father family unit have a better chance at becoming drug addicts, going to prison(costs the state taxpayers money), lower test scores(bad for states), more high school dropouts(bad for states), etc etc. This particular idea isnt limited to gay marriage though and we dont have to study this too deep to figure out that the states were on to something. You can see this clearly when parents divorce or children grow up either without a father or a mother that the child is at a higher risk of negative contributions to themselves and the states that they reside in. If a child grows up without any parents the chance of them growing up to be productive citizens are disastrously low. Without going into this topic more deeply because i dont have more time, I think each state has every right to not accept marriage certificates from other states. I am not familiar with all the benefits that each state currently gives to heterosexual couples(other than $250 for burial and other things). So the question is, is it in the states best interest to allow adoptions of kids by a gay, a single mother, a single father etc because of some of the things I have already stated??

Re: Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43623893)

Fuck the states. Is it in the kid's interest? Yeah, it is.

Re: Good (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about a year and a half ago | (#43624399)

I don't agree with anything you have said. Every state in the US allows adoption by single parents. It's not an argument.

Another fact of the matter is that there is research that shows gay parents on average get just as good results as hetero parents and better than single parents, and far better than foster homes. Gay parents after all have to make a real commitment to the process before getting a child. What matters most seems to be the number of parents.

The idea that states have a right to reject marriage certificates from other states is completely preposterous. The Constitution forbids such a thing in Article Four.

Re: Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43624583)

the way we disagree here is that the purpose of some priviledges/perks offer to married heterosexual couples come with "package deals"(children) no pun intended.

If that were true than childless marriages would not be legal, and same sex couples who adopt children would be entitles to the same perks..

As neither of those logical conclusions of your premise are accurate I put forward that you're just making shit up.

Marriage is legally a form of incorporation, and by the 14th amendment it is unconstitutional to restrict those privileges to certain classes of people. The argument to the contrary are religious in origin, and an argument from religion is not a valid legal argument in the U.S.

However really the obvious compromise is this:
All marriages are renamed "civil unions". Civil unions are available for any two people. If you choose to get your civil union blessed by a religious institution of your choice and call it a "marriage" that's between you and the clergy, and no business of government.

Re: Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43623679)

"First of all, marriage is NOT a right and never has been, even for heterosexuals. The individuals states have taken it upon themselves to allow, as a PRIVILEDGE, heterosexuals to marry legally within that state(by way of marriage certificates) and offers certain benefits within that marriage unit."
marriage is a right in the sense that it is a manefestation of free individuals that choose to create a social contract between themselves. it's none of the state's business. period.

"The states long ago, realized that encouraging marriages between two people would be beneficial for the state because as nature would have it, a heterosexual union was the best chance for a stable environment to reproduce and raise up children who would yield future positive contributions to that state (get good jobs, pay state taxes, buy goods, etc) and then themselves get married and the cycle continues. So yes, it is a state issue, not a federal one. "

the state (mimicking what the church had already done), and being the leach that it is, saw what people were already doing as part of their nature and saw a way to interfere and exploit the situation and people being naive let them get a way with it. it's just like letting those traitors build the roads: now they have their pirates kidnapping people and putting them in prison for 20+ years for a bag of plant material because your beloved state is addicted to stealing from it's citizens. wake up before it's too late for you and yours!

Re: Good (1)

fast turtle (1118037) | about a year and a half ago | (#43623905)

The only thing is, the IRS Recognizes Marriage for a tax benefit and as marriage, which is a Religious Institution as most states define it, the Federal Government is then in violation of the Seperation of State and Religion provision of the U.S. Constituion - so it becomes a matter for the SCOTUS to hear.

It is also the reason that the marriage deduction (benefit) along with the married but filing seperately (penalty) have been quietely removed as the question was raised in regards to the penalty a few years back. Another element of criminal law, is that in many states, a spouse can not be forced to testify against the other and the SCOTUS has upheld that, in clear violation of the Seperation of State and Religion provisions. That's one of the reasons the SCOTUS has supposedly reversed itself in regards to forced testimony by spouses against each other.

Re: Good (1, Insightful)

Cutting_Crew (708624) | about a year and a half ago | (#43624151)

there is no separation of state and religion. there is no such clause. not even the words "separation", "church" or "state". the supreme court redefined what the meaning of the first amendment even means in that regard and had to look to a document outside of the confines of the constitution to even have something to go by(and they even got the intent of this phrase wrong). Even so, the document or paragraph by Jefferson regarding "separation of church & state" referred to a state Church - whereas all of Great Britain was under one denomination and they did not want that for American was one of the main reasons why they fled their old country to begin with. "In 1801, the Danbury Baptist Association of Danbury, Connecticut, heard a rumor that the Congregationalist denomination was about to be made the national denomination. That rumor distressed the Danbury Baptists, as it should have. Consequently, the fired off a letter to President Thomas Jefferson voicing their concern. On January 1, 1802, Jefferson wrote the Danbury Baptists, assuring them that "the First Amendment has erected a wall of separation between church and state." "The First Amendment has erected ‘a wall of separation between church and state.’ That wall must be kept high and impregnable." is the quote from the court in 1947 not taking into account the whole context of Jeffersons letter but only a small phrase for which they would coin all their rulings against, asserting for themselves what the Founders wanted without taking the full letter and context into consideration. Since then people have been programmed to believe that this phrase is in the constitution which it is not.

Re: Good (2)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about a year and a half ago | (#43625655)

there is no separation of state and religion. there is no such clause. not even the words "separation", "church" or "state".

I see you are one of those people that pretends that the Establishment clause does not exist:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;. . .

The text in the Constitution says that Congress must remain neutral when it comes to all religions. Thus separation.

the supreme court redefined what the meaning of the first amendment even means in that regard and had to look to a document outside of the confines of the constitution to even have something to go by(and they even got the intent of this phrase wrong).

The words are quite evident if you bother to read them.

Even so, the document or paragraph by Jefferson regarding "separation of church & state" referred to a state Church - whereas all of Great Britain was under one denomination and they did not want that for American was one of the main reasons why they fled their old country to begin with.

Jefferson drafted the Virginia Statue for Religious Freedom [wikipedia.org] which explicitly states: "Be it enacted by General Assembly that no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced". Funny, I didn't see how "any" == Anglican Church.

That wall must be kept high and impregnable." is the quote from the court in 1947 not taking into account the whole context of Jeffersons letter but only a small phrase for which they would coin all their rulings against, asserting for themselves what the Founders wanted without taking the full letter and context into consideration. Since then people have been programmed to believe that this phrase is in the constitution which it is not.

The Virginia Statue for Religious Freedom was ratified in 1786. The Bill of Rights was ratified after that.

Re: Good (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about a year and a half ago | (#43625531)

The individuals states have taken it upon themselves to allow, as a PRIVILEDGE, heterosexuals to marry legally within that state(by way of marriage certificates) and offers certain benefits within that marriage unit. The states long ago, realized that encouraging marriages between two people would be beneficial for the state because as nature would have it, a heterosexual union was the best chance for a stable environment to reproduce and raise up children who would yield future positive contributions to that state (get good jobs, pay state taxes, buy goods, etc) and then themselves get married and the cycle continues. So yes, it is a state issue, not a federal one.

Um, what? Marriage has been codified into law for many centuries before the formation of the United States. The states back in their legislatures did not formally decide any such matter. They drafted upon older statutes like in English Common Law with the exception being Louisiana which relied on Napoleonic code. There was no grand plan as you describe it.

Marriage has always been defined by the culture. At times this intersects with the religion of that culture, but not always. Buddhism, for example, has always considered marriage a matter of the state and not the religion. The roots of marriage in English Common Law go way back; most marriages were informal with simple verbal declarations. In the Victorian era, the notion of marriage was, bluntly, a transference of property with the woman being the property. More recent changes in culture have made woman equal partners in marriage but this was not always so.

DOMA was put into place as a way to keep states from recognizing any other states law regarding gay marriage. So Florida wouldnt be forced to recognize a couples gay marriage certificate from California. It doesnt stop California from deciding whether or not it wants gay marriage. I'm not sure why this even came into question. Of course California can define marriage differently. I dont think DOMA ever had in its language to prohibit individual states from defining marriage how they see fit.

The problem with this is that all states recognize must marriage in other states. This was one of the reasons it took Utah so long to join the union. They had to agree to no recognize polygamy. DOMA represents a violation of the Full Faith and Credit Clause if it does what it was intended.

Re: Good (1)

unitron (5733) | about a year and a half ago | (#43625797)

"...a heterosexual union was the best chance for a stable environment to reproduce and raise up children who would yield future positive contributions to that state..."

Well, it's the best bet for the reproduction part, but the rest is a crapshoot.

Re: Good (2)

arbulus (1095967) | about a year and a half ago | (#43623667)

"Should civil rights be defined differently for each state?"

Absolutely not. No state should be able to withhold civil rights. Especially when other states grant full rights. Further, Civil Rights shouldn't be up for ballot measures or public vote. If Jim Crow laws and black Civil Rights had been up for public vote, we wouldn't be where we are now. We would still be segregated. In case many forget, the government had to send in the military to enforce school de-segregation. And I fully support that. No state or city or any sort of municipality should have any right to deny civil rights. And if it takes the military to force it, then so be it. I want to see the day the military is sent to enforce equal marriage rights. Then, perhaps people will understand that we are in a Civil Rights battle that is no different from that of the 1960s.

And apparently the poster that you are replying to doesn't understand how the US Constitution works.

States can makes what laws they like, as long as they don't interfere with Federal law, or the US Constitution. Put simply, a state cannot make a law that violates Federal Law. And the SCOTUS has the authority, granted by the US Constitution, to rule on such matters.

Re: Good (1)

Cutting_Crew (708624) | about a year and a half ago | (#43623921)

how does providing benefits or recognizing heterosexual marriage interfere with federal law? there is no federal law concerning marriage at all..and again marriage is not a right anyway. never has been, before states assembled and back even further than that.

Re: Good (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about a year and a half ago | (#43625691)

Providing doesn't. The part is where DOMA and California explicitly prohibits something. That is the crux of discrimination.

Re: Good (1)

cbhacking (979169) | about a year and a half ago | (#43625725)

there is no federal law concerning marriage at all

How about the US federal tax code? Close enough? A couple "married filing jointly" receive federal tax benefits not available to the unmarried... or to those who are married but the federal court refuses to recognize it. Try gelling a married gay couple that "there is no federal law concerning marriage at all" on April 15th and see how far that gets you.

TL;DR: You're full of bullshit.

Re: Good (1)

moeinvt (851793) | about a year and a half ago | (#43623953)

The individual states, via their state legislatures, ratified The Constitution and created the federal government. The federal government has only those powers which are specifically granted to it by The Constitution.
There is no authorization for the federal government to conduct a military invasion of any sovereign state. If The Constitution had implicitly or explicitly granted this power to the federal government, The Constitution never would have been ratified.

Re: Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43625983)

Especially when other states grant full rights.

According to the constitution states do not grant citizens rights. According to it a citizen has got all rights other than a very few explicitily granted to the gouverment/its states.

That means that the gouverment/its states can only take away rights.

At the moment you think that a gouverment or state can grant you a right you've already lost the battle (and they won the bluff poker).

Re:Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43623263)

That issue was settled in Marbury v. Madison. In other words, it was settled by the *founding fathers* of this country. Also, there are *nine* justices in the Supreme Court. Perhaps you may want to do some research about the legal system in this country before you choose to comment.

Re:Good (1)

xeno314 (661565) | about a year and a half ago | (#43623385)

Ok, a few issues. First, there are *9* black robes in Washington. Second, the U.S. Supreme Court is and always has been empowered to hear controversies arising from the U.S. Constitution. The 4th amendment concerns in this case would be of that nature.

With respect to gay marriage, the Court is hearing challenges to DOMA (a federal law), and cases that determine whether states are in violation of the U.S. Constitution with their particular implementations of gay marriage bans.

Federal courts do not generally hear (or have the power to hear) things that do not involve federal law or the U.S. Constitution. If it's a state law or constitution that has nothing to do with federal law, the state courts will be the only ones to hear your case. (There are exceptions, but that's the short version.)

Re:Good (1)

CaffinatedSloth (1748370) | about a year and a half ago | (#43623399)

You don't think SCOTUS should be allowed to hear a case rooted in the 4th Amendment to the Constitution? If they aren't there to rule on cases relating to the Constitution, what, exactly do you think is the role of the Supreme Court? I'm all for States Rights, but they specifically do not include the ability to nullify to contradict portions of the Constitution.

Re:Good (1)

azadrozny (576352) | about a year and a half ago | (#43623429)

I am not sure I follow you. Article 3, section 2, gives the Supreme Court the power to review cases that involve the laws, and rights granted in the Constitution. This case is asking how much protection the 4th Amendment grants to an individual. I would think you would want one interpretation of a Federal law, rather than 50.

Florida got one right? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43622835)

Somebody check for snow in Tallahassee!

Re:Florida got one right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43622957)

http://www.srh.noaa.gov/tae/?n=snow

Re:Florida got one right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43624577)

Actually, this story needs to be tagged "suddenbreakoutofcommonsense".

Good (1)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | about a year and a half ago | (#43622863)

A phone message is in fact the same concept as an Email or Private conversation, therefore it should be awarded the same level or privacy and protection. It's also interesting to note that just by reading a phone message you're not going to get the entire story most of the time. I can't count how many of phone messages are extensions of conversations I've had over email and in person, if you read the message on my phone with out the context it will either make no sense or make me / them look bad, when in reality your missing a good portion of what you need to know. I fully support blocking phone snooping from the police, if they want what I have then they can legally obtain it.

Re:Good (1)

Sporkinum (655143) | about a year and a half ago | (#43623895)

It's even worse if google voice transcribes it!
I got this a couple of days ago.( Hey Captain dial any. I'm not getting anything over your 59515 that's 3 so server getting closer. They just need to know hey you know set up. So. )

Why the difference? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43622873)

What exactly makes a cellphone (or any digital device) different than any other personal posession? Why did it take a special court ruling (and probably millions of dollars) to "clarify" this "issue"? Does the law (and the constitution) not already state that a person cannot be searched without due process?

Where in the world did this confusion come from?

Re:Why the difference? (5, Insightful)

jittles (1613415) | about a year and a half ago | (#43623071)

What exactly makes a cellphone (or any digital device) different than any other personal posession? Why did it take a special court ruling (and probably millions of dollars) to "clarify" this "issue"? Does the law (and the constitution) not already state that a person cannot be searched without due process?

Where in the world did this confusion come from?

Cell phones are carried about on your person. Historically, when you are arrested, the police review and inventory items on your possession. They are able to do so because they are arresting you. Any evidence found on your person is admissible in court. However, the modern day cell phone often extends above and beyond the things that a normal person might carry on their person. You might have thousands of messages, emails, your bank statements, and other personal and confidential information you do not make a habit of carrying with you. If the police need access to that information, and have probable cause, then they should have to get a warrant to do so. Just as they would need a warrant to review my call logs, my bank statement, or to search through my house.

Re:Why the difference? (4, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | about a year and a half ago | (#43623177)

To elaborate, the search incident to arrest is justified for the officer's safety. If you had a sealed letter on you, they could open it because there might be a shiv in the letter. In opening that letter, the contents enter plain view which makes them known to the police.

A cell phone is rightly exempt from this, because you can eliminate any possibility that the cell phone is a weapon without examining the data.

Re:Why the difference? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43623401)

No, if they think the letter could be dangerous to them, they can take it away and give it back when you are released. They do not need to open it for their safety. IANAL.

Re:Why the difference? (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year and a half ago | (#43623587)

The prosecutor knew this, and informed the defense first, and then got a warrant, and only then viewed the photos.

Basically they can take the phone and inventory it, but not its contents without a warrant.

It's a small but important legal distinction. I can't imagine judges not approving such warrants on phones of robbery suspects, but go throuh the proper paperwork, thx.

Re:Why the difference? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43623089)

Does the law (and the constitution) not already state that a person cannot be searched without due process?

Someone with actual power had to tell the cops that.

If you're not cop, you're little people.

Re:Why the difference? (3, Informative)

idontgno (624372) | about a year and a half ago | (#43623105)

For the same reason you can patent ancient chestnuts by suffixing the claims with "...in a mobile device." All bets are off and no claim is too outrageous.

The powers assume you don't have civil rights until some court says you do. Even the words on a 200-year-old scrap of parchment are re-parsed with each new technological advance (printing press, telegraphy, telephones, etc.) because there are people in power for whom your clearly stated rights are an obstacle to their goals... so your rights are not applicable in this particular case until someone slaps them on the wrist and tells them that the right does, in fact, still apply.

This is the ugly truth behind the often-quoted maxim "the law doesn't keep up with technology." The people behind the law have a vested interest in making sure the established protections of the rule of law can't be applied in as many circumstances as possible, and work hard to redefine each new technological plateau as a new frontier of surveillance, seizure, and self-incrimination.

The men behind the Bill of Rights understood this. This is why we even have a Bill of Rights: because the government needs a standing restraint order against stalking their citizens.

Re:Why the difference? (3, Interesting)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year and a half ago | (#43623151)

What exactly makes a cellphone (or any digital device) different than any other personal posession? Why did it take a special court ruling (and probably millions of dollars) to "clarify" this "issue"? Does the law (and the constitution) not already state that a person cannot be searched without due process?

Where in the world did this confusion come from?

because cops are assholes who think it's their job to take as much leeway they can get every time they can.

shouldn't be so, but it is. so when they started finding phones in peoples pockets(after going through the due process of determining that they looked like hoodlums) they took the opportunity to treat them as if they had just found everything in the phone as if it was on a printout and hell, since they now had the phone in custody why not try entrapping people based on the good faith they(the friends of the owner of the phone) had on the owner of the phone. because, as you know it's A WAR! a war on drugs and there's no rules on war(well, there isn't if you don't adhere to international conventions anyways). or terror. or for the good of the town. or whatever.

of course it's a generalization but can you blame people for starting to make such generalizations when they stem from real actions..

Finally, something a Floridian can be proud about (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43622885)

For once in a very long while, I feel slightly more proud to be a (native) Floridian!

Re:Finally, something a Floridian can be proud abo (1)

bbelt16ag (744938) | about a year and a half ago | (#43623019)

I am born and raised in Florida. I shed a little tear when we get something right down here.

Re:Finally, something a Floridian can be proud abo (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43623051)

Lucky! I wish I could be proud of my state...but alas, I'm a Californian... *ducks*

Re:Finally, something a Floridian can be proud abo (3, Funny)

nomadic (141991) | about a year and a half ago | (#43623381)

To paraphrase the Simpsons:

Floridian: "Wow, Florida, this makes me feel...what's the opposite of ashamed?"
Florida: "Proud?"
Floridian: "Not that far from ashamed."
Florida: "Less ashamed?"
Floridian:"Yeah!"
Florida: "Awww, thanks."

Here's to hoping ... (1)

briancox2 (2417470) | about a year and a half ago | (#43622887)

... that this goes to the US Supreme Court and they uphold this as the law of the land. The citizens of all states deserve that protection.

Re:Here's to hoping ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43623119)

... that this goes to the US Supreme Court and they uphold this as the law of the land. The citizens of all states deserve that protection.

Oh yeah ? And what happens if those 9 fools in washington decide to overturn Florida's supreme court decision ?
Nope, better this ruling didn't anywhere near washington.

Re:Here's to hoping ... (1)

Isaac Remuant (1891806) | about a year and a half ago | (#43626431)

Does it offer any protections against a possible "I did it for my safety" or "It was a matter of national security" or "I had reasonable expectations that it was vital to stop a crime"?

Not so in Ontario (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43622915)

The Ontario court of Appeal in a case called Fearon recently decided that if the phone is not password protected it is fair game for the police to go through it without a warrant.

Re:Not so in Ontario (1)

Halotron1 (1604209) | about a year and a half ago | (#43623005)

That's kind of where I see this one going.

We're long overdue for a ruling protecting privacy of electronic devices.

I never understood why it's illegal for them to search your locked glove box where you might have a small book,
but totally legal for them to search your phone which could store THOUSANDS of books.

Next comes the bickering over what constitutes "locking" - Is an Android unlock pattern good enough?

Re:Not so in Ontario (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43623241)

I never understood why it's illegal for them to search your locked glove box where you might have a small book, but totally legal for them to search your phone which could store THOUSANDS of books.

They need to search your phone to protect the personal safety of the officer. Yes, that's the legal reason for these phone searches.

No minority opinion? (2)

briancox2 (2417470) | about a year and a half ago | (#43622929)

Two justices thought that it was constitutional for police to randomly search through your cell phone, though it seems they did not publish an opinion as to why.

A full report of this ruling should include the justification for such a ruling. I would love to read it!

Re:No minority opinion? (2)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year and a half ago | (#43623211)

Two justices thought that it was constitutional for police to randomly search through your cell phone, though it seems they did not publish an opinion as to why.

A full report of this ruling should include the justification for such a ruling. I would love to read it!

if I had to guess, it's because they wanted the guy to stay in prison for the 50 year term for the burglary.

now what's puzzling is why the cop didn't get a permit for the cellphone search, it wouldn't have been too much work considering the sentence for the burglary was FIFTY YEARS! so considering the amount going to be spent keeping him in prison for fifty years, the amount of paperwork costs to get the permit shouldn't really have been that much.

(also, it was puzzling from the report.. were the pictures from the cellphone used as the evidence or the statement from the cop that he had seen pictures tying him to the crime in his phone?)

Re:No minority opinion? (1)

Secret Agent Man (915574) | about a year and a half ago | (#43626001)

now what's puzzling is why the cop didn't get a permit for the cellphone search,

They probably just assumed that they had a right to seize the phone and its contents as evidence, since that's how it normally works (what a person has on them at the time of arrest can be seized freely).

the U.S. Supreme Court will not hear this (4, Informative)

nomadic (141991) | about a year and a half ago | (#43623359)

Just FYI everyone, the Florida Supreme Court is the final arbiter of the Florida state constitution, and it's well-settled precedent that state constitutions can provide greater protection than the Federal constitution. The only way this case could have legitimately gotten to the U.S. Supreme Court is if the Florida Supreme Court found that a warrant WASN'T necessary. The defendant then could have asked the USCT to find that under the 4th and 14th amendment one was required.

Re:the U.S. Supreme Court will not hear this (4, Informative)

nomadic (141991) | about a year and a half ago | (#43623515)

Actually everyone just ignore that, while what I said is true generally, in this specific case they're ruling on the U.S. 4th amendment, not Florida's equivalent (and Florida is something of a special case in that the Florida constitution explicitly says the USCT determines 4th amendment protections).

Which congressman did this impact? (2)

ImprovOmega (744717) | about a year and a half ago | (#43623497)

Sadly, given recent events with the sequester my first thought was that some high powered politician had to have been affected. Bravo for some common sense from the judiciary. Now lets percolate that up to Washington and spread it around.

http://buggedplanet.info (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43626525)

So... LAE need permission now? LOL!

recently in the news:
http://buggedplanet.info/index.php?title=GAMMA [buggedplanet.info]

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