Bloomberg BNA: Conservatives, Reporters, Farmers Back Robber at Supreme Court (In the News)

Bloomberg BNA: Conservatives, Reporters, Farmers Back Robber at Supreme Court

By Jordan S. Rubin

Though the justices are asked to decide whether the Fourth Amendment applies in Carpenter’s case, some of the outside briefs are concerned with another amendment: the First.

One of the First Amendment-focused briefs comes from the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and 19 media organizations. Another was filed by a diverse band of racial justice and economic freedom groups, led by the Center for Competitive Politics, an organization whose goal, according to its website, is “to promote and defend the First Amendment’s rights to freely speak, associate, assemble, publish, and petition the government.”… 

The competitive politics brief’s concern is that, in “a world where tracking information is so precise that individual rooms can be differentiated, the locations of multiple people can be amalgamated, allowing the government to assemble an extraordinarily precise picture of citizens’ memberships, meetings, and associations.”

Thus, “the government’s warrantless access to this information threatens Americans’ First Amendment right ‘to pursue their lawful private interests privately and to associate freely with others in so doing,'” they argue, quoting NAACP v. Alabama…

A ruling against Carpenter, then, could “discourage Americans from engaging in public gatherings and private meetings of all types, chilling both social and political association and the collective speech it fosters,” they conclude.