Petition for Rehearing in United States v. Ziegler:
A few weeks ago, I posted a very long entry about a troubling Fourth Amendment decision from the Ninth Circuit, United States v. Ziegler, which held that a private sector employee has no Fourth Amendment rights in his computer against government surveillance if his employer has a workplace monitoring policy in effect or otherwise has acccess to the computer. As I explained in my earlier post, this is incorrect, and incorrect in a way that has really important and very troubling long-term consequences.

  The last development in the case is that counsel for Ziegler has filed a petition for rehearing (.pdf), explaining the panel's error and asking the panel or the full Court to rehear the case. I very much hope the Ninth Circuit grants the petition: My sense is that the initial panel simply misunderstood a very complex doctrinal area, and that the panel didn't fully realize the impact of the decision or how much it conflicts with other cases in this area. (Full disclosure: following my initial blog post on the case, I contacted Ziegler's attorney and have discussed the case with him.)

  Of course, rehearing in any case is a bit of an uphill battle. Appellate courts get a lot of petitions for rehearing, and it can be hard to predict which petitions are likely to grab the court's attention. In any event, I hope this one does.