Carpenter v. U.S. Oral Arguments Tomorrow

Nov 28th, 2017 Fourth Amendment

Tomorrow, November 29, 2017, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Carpenter v. United States. At the center of the case is how historical cell site location information will be treated under the Fourth Amendment, and subsequently, the third party doctrine.  Many of you will be familiar with the case, but for those that aren’t, a collection of sources are included in this post.

A Lawfare post written the day after cert was granted summarizes the facts of the case, what the Sixth Circuit said, and some of the implications of SCOTUS’s decision.

Brief for Petitioner

Brief for Petitioner

Brief for the United States

Brief for United States

Reply Brief for Petitioner

Reply Brief for Petitioner


SCOTUSblog has complied a timeline of the case with all the filings, which can be found here. That same page also includes coverage of other blogs and commentary throughout the case’s history.

Among those who filed Amicus Curiae briefs are:

  • Cato Institute
  • Center for Competitive Politics, Center for Media Justice, Color of Change, Americans for Prosperity Foundation, and Tea Party Patriots
  • Center for Democracy and Technology
  • Competitive Enterprise Institute, Cato Institute, Reason Foundation, and Committee for Justice
  • Data & Society Research Institute and Fifteen Scholars of Technology and Society
  • Electronic Frontier Foundation, Brennan Center for Justice, The Constitution Project, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and National Association of Federal Defenders
  • Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) and Thirty-Six Technical Experts and Legal Scholars
  • Empirical Fourth Amendment Scholars
  • Institute for Justice, Carole Hinders, Randy and Karen Sowers, and DKT Liberty Project
  • Michael Varco
  • National District Attorneys Association
  • Professor Orin S. Kerr (He also wrote a follow up blog post with additional thoughts, which can be read here.)
  • The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and 19 Media Organizations
  • Restore the Fourth, Inc.
  • Rutherford Institute
  • Scholars of Criminal Procedure and Privacy
  • Scholars of the History and Original Meaning of the Fourth Amendment
  • State of Alabama et al.
  • Technology Companies (In Support of Neither Party)
  • Technology Experts (represented by the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University)
  • United States Justice Foundation, Gun Owners Foundation, Gun Owners of America, Inc., et al.
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Professor William Snyder

Professor William C. Snyderis a member of the faculty of the Institute for National Security and Counter-terrorism at Syracuse University after fifteen years with the United States Department of Justice.

Ryan D. White

Ryan D. WhiteRyan is currently a third year law student at Syracuse University College of Law, and is also pursuing a Master of Public Administration degree from Syracuse’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. Ryan spent time with Homeland Security Investigations while pursuing his undergraduate degree at Wesleyan University, and spent his first summer of law school as clerk for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of New York. He is a member of Syracuse Law Review, the Journal on Terrorism and Security Analysis, and participates in the Veteran’s Legal Clinic. Full biography

Shelby E. Mann

Ryan D. WhiteShelby is a second year law student at the Syracuse University College of Law. She is the 2018-9 Editor in Chief of the Syracuse Law Review, as well as a member of the Journal on Terrorism and Security Analysis, and the senior editor for the Syrian Accountability Project. During her final year at the University of Missouri, she served as a full-time news producer for ABC 17 News. Shelby spent her first summer of law school at the Shelby County District Attorney General's Office in Memphis, Tenn., in the Public Corruption and Economic Crimes Unit. Full biography

Christopher w. FolkChristopher W. Folk

is a 2017 graduate of SU College of Law. A non-traditional student, Christopher returned to academia after spending nearly twenty years in the high tech industry. Christopher served in the Marine Corps, graduated from Cornell University with a B.S. In Applied Economics and Business Management, attended Northeastern University’s High-Tech MBA Program and received a M.S. In Computer Information Systems. Christopher previously worked in Software Engineering. Christopher is currently serving his second term as Town Justice for the Town of Waterloo. Christopher externed with a Cybersecurity firm in the Washington, D.C. area between his first and second year at SU College of Law. Full biography

Anna Maria Castillo

Anna Maria Castillois 2016 graduate of Syracuse College of Law. She also holds a Master of Arts in International Relations from Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. She has interned at a London-based think-tank that specializes in transnational terrorism and global security and at the legal department of a defense contractor. She served as an executive editor in the Syracuse Law Review. Full biography

Jennifer A. CamilloJennifer A. Camillo

is a 2015 graduate of Syracuse College of Law and is a prosecutor. She has served as a law clerk in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York and the Cayuga County District Attorney’s Office and as an extern in the Oneida County District Attorney’s Office. She was a member of the Syracuse National Trial Team and was awarded the Tiffany Cup by the New York Bar Association for her trial advocacy achievements.

Tara J. PistoreseTara J. Pistorese

holds Juris Doctor and Masters of Public Administration degrees from Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and its College of Law. She wrote for this blog when a student. She is now a member of the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's Corps.

Benjamin Zaiser

is both a scholar and a Federal Agent of the Federal Criminal Police Office of Germany. (Opinions expressed here are his own and not any part of official duty.) Full biography


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