//  11/16/17  //  Commentary

On this week’s episode of Versus Trump, Jason and Charlie discuss a new lawsuit that forces courts to answer the question of whether the federal government needs a warrant to search people's cell phones and other electronic devices at the border, and they also respond to a discussion on the Supreme Court podcast First Mondays regarding the government's recent filing in the Hargan v. Garza abortion case.

First, Jason and Charlie tackle border searches of cell phones and laptops by discussing a new case filed by the ACLU and Electronic Frontier Foundation called Alasaad v. Duke. The case was recently filed in Boston on behalf of several individuals who had their electronic devices searched when they returned to the U.S. from oversees. As Jason and Charlie note, the policies authorizing border searches without a warrant, probable cause, or even reasonable suspicion of a crime were put in place in 2009 under President Obama—but the number of people whose electronic devices have been searched at the border has risen dramatically since President Trump took office. Jason and Charlie analyze whether the policy is constitutional and try to predict what rule a court might adopt to put some limits on these searches.

After that [at 32:30], Jason and Charlie return to the noteworthy case of Hargan v. Garza. The federal government recently filed a much-discussed Supreme Court petition that accused the ACLU of misconduct in a case that ultimately resulted in an undocumented immigrant obtaining the abortion she sought. Jason and Charlie disagree with the view articulated in the most recent episode of First Mondays, in which the hosts said that the government's petition presented a potentially close case on the misconduct issue, and also argued that the lawyers who signed the petition must subjectively have thought there was serious attorney misconduct. If you've been following the debate over this filing, you'll definitely want to tune in for Jason and Charlie's views.

As usual, you can listen online below, and subscribe here with any podcast player or here in iTunes.

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Links

  • EFF's case page about Alasaad v. Duke is here. The complaint is here.
  • An interesting first-person account of recent treatment at the border is here, in a post by Hina Shamsi of the ACLU.
  • The most recent episode of First Mondays can be found here, at SCOTUSblog.
  • The latest developments in the access-to-abortion case are described here at SCOTUSblog, and the government's filing is here. Leah Litman also wrote about the filing here at Take Care.

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