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  1. Bruce

    Please bear with me, if I seem a little off the mark, as I am not a lawyer, and I’m Canadian (and my civics may not be up to snuff).

    When the warrant was expired (by date and jurisdiction) by the time the GPS was attached to Jones’ SUV, did c 18th trespass doctrines even need to be invoked? And, why no distinction between civil & criminal trespass? [To be honest, was instrumental in helping me formulate that question as I was unsure if there was a difference in the US.] The use of trespass seems consistent with Justice Scalia’s contention that the government “physically occupied private property for the purposes of obtaining information” and attempts to reconcile with previous ‘reasonable expectation of privacy’ decisions using the sanctity of property.

    I will have to re-read the decision, but the KNOTTS case seems more analogus then the (somewhat tortured?) reasoning of Justice Scalia, and it might have been less confusing to rule that the government was overly broad in the information it used. Where using a beeper to track a canister (ostensibly transported INSIDE a vehicle) does not violate the 4th Amendment because of the limited data gathered/used, perhaps the principal fault in JONES should’ve been the volume of data collected? [I don’t know what the government filed in their brief, and I have not read the full KNOTTS case.]

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