Solicitor General Elena Kagan and Justice Department officials are asking the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider its August ruling that federal prosecutors went too far when seizing 104 professional baseball players’ drug results when they had a warrant for just 10.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ 9-2 decision offered Miranda-style guidelines to prosecutors and judges on how to protect Fourth Amendment privacy rights while conducting computer searches.
Kagan, appointed solicitor general by President Barack Obama, joined several U.S. attorneys in telling the San Francisco-based court Monday that the guidelines are complicating federal prosecutions in the West. The circuit, the nation’s largest, covers nine states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.
“In some districts, computer searches have ground to a complete halt,” the authorities wrote. “Many United States Attorney’s Offices have been chilled from seeking any new warrants to search computers.” (.pdf) […]
The controversial decision, which the government said was contrary to Supreme Court precedent, outlined new rules on how the government may search computers. (.pdf)