Fascinating Seventh Circuit Opinions on Fourth Amendment Implications of Long-Term GPS Surveillance

Today the Seventh Circuit handed down a fascinating set of opinions on the Fourth Amendment implications of long-term GPS monitoring: United States v. Cuevas-Perez. Seventh Circuit precedent has already held that GPS use is not a search, so the issue was what to make of the Maynard “mosaic theory” introduced recently by the DC Circuit. Based on a very quick skim of the opinion, it looks like the majority opinion by Judge Cudahy concludes that Maynard is distinguishable on its facts; the concurrence by Judge Flaum argues that Maynard is unpersausasive as a matter of law; and the dissent by Judge Wood concludes that Maynard is persuasive as a matter of law and applies to the facts of this case. Given that DOJ recently petitioned for cert in Maynard, this division of opinions among well-respected judges only increases the chances that the Supreme Court is going to take that case to have a look at this brewing issue.

I’m moving back to DC tomorrow (after spending the semester visiting at Penn), so I’m not sure how much time I’ll have to blog on this over the next few days in light of the move. But this is a big development, and makes it all the more likely that OT2011 is going to feature a very important case (or set of cases) involving the Fourth Amendment and new technologies.

Thanks to Doug Berman for the link.

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