The Supreme Court made another unanimous decision upholding basic American rights in the final weeks of the term – this time, the right to privacy.

The Court recognized that cell phones and other mobile devices are inherently private, thus protected under the Fourth Amendment.  Disagreeing with Obama’s Justice Department, the Court held that police must usually get a warrant before searching them.  Recognizing that immediate searches can be required in emergency situations, they refused to grant more latitude that law enforcement was seeking.

Instead of treating “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures” as an irrelevant antiquity of the pre-computer age, Roberts turned the argument on its head insisting that a cellphone’s data requires greater constitutional protection because the personal information it contains is so vast.

Law enforcement argued that such protection would make their job more tedious, to which the Court responded – tough.  As Justice Roberts wrote, the right to privacy “comes at a cost.”  Besides, mobile devices also make obtaining warrants a much quicker process.  The people’s right to privacy and the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition of unreasonable searches trumped police convenience.

Thank you again, Supreme Court!

And if the NSA ever comes up against the Supreme Court… we hope the Court would show logical consistency and show them some “checks and balances” too.