“At the establishment of our constitutions, the judiciary bodies were supposed to be the most helpless and harmless members of the government.” – Thomas Jefferson in a letter to A. Coray, October 31, 1823
The Nevada Supreme Court ruled law enforcement doesn’t need to show probable cause or get a warrant before obtaining cell phone records that show a person’s general whereabouts and phone usage. The opinion by a three-judge panel upheld the murder convictions of Donald Taylor for the 2010 killing of Michael Pearson during a marijuana drug deal in Las Vegas.
Taylor appealed his conviction, arguing that his Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable search and seizure were violated when law enforcement obtained cell phone location and use records from the cell phone provider. It was that information led to Taylor’s arrest.
Justice Nancy Saitta claims the warrantless access of Taylor’s historical cell phone location data didn’t violate his Fourth Amendment rights. She adds that the data didn’t provide content of Taylor’s calls or text message, only numbers, duration and the location of the cell towers routing the calls.
Such information interprets Saitta, are ‘business records’ and that Taylor has no reasonable expectation of privacy.
So much for the Section 18 of Nevada’s State Constitution which reads: “Unreasonable seizure and search; issuance of warrants. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable seizures and searches shall not be violated; and no warrant shall issue but on probable cause, supported by Oath or Affirmation, particularly describing the place or places to be searched, and the person or persons, and thing or things to be seized.”
Her interpretation also goes against the U.S. Constitution and the Fourth Amendment: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects,[a] against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
It is time for the citizen’s of Nevada to stand up and force the state legislature to hold the Nevada’s judiciary accountable for its obvious disregard of our God-given liberties as expressed in both the U.S. Constitution and the state’s Constitution.