CAIR Applauds Supreme Court Ruling on GPS Monitoring
Court says warrantless monitoring violates Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 1/23/12) -- The Council on American-Islamic Relations(CAIR), the nation's leading Muslim civil liberties organization, today applauded a unanimous ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court stating that warrantless GPS monitoring of suspects violates the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure.
SEE: Warrants Needed for GPS Monitoring, Supreme Court Rules
You can read the entire decision here.
CAIR said the decision, published this morning, held that the installation of a GPS tracking device on a vehicle by law enforcement authorities constitutes a search as defined by the Fourth Amendment and therefore required a warrant. The decision resolves a conflict among lower courts about whether or not law enforcement agencies should be required to obtain a warrant.
In October of last year, CAIR filed an amicus (friend of the court) brief in the case (United States v. Jones) seeking the court's support for the requirement that a warrant be obtained before placing a GPS tracking device on any individual's vehicle.
You can read the entire CAIR brief here.
"We welcome this decision because it clearly shows that the nation's highest court has recognized that the warrantless use of GPS devices is a violation of Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable search and seizure," said CAIR Legal Counsel Nadhira Al-Khalili, the attorney of record on CAIR's amicus brief.
She said CAIR's interest in the case stems from a lawsuit it is litigating on behalf of Yasir Afifi, a Santa Clara, Calif., resident who discovered a GPS tracking device placed on his vehicle in October 2010. FBI agents went to Afifi's home two days after the GPS device was discovered to retrieve it and interrogate him.
In March 2011, CAIR filed suit on behalf of Afifi against Attorney General Eric Holder and FBI Director Robert Mueller. In September 2011, that case was stayed pending the Supreme Court's decision.
"This important ruling will serve to protect all Americans from further unchecked assaults on their constitutional rights," said Zahra Billoo, executive director of CAIR's San Francisco Bay Area chapter and Afifi's attorney.
CAIR received reports from several American Muslims who have discovered GPS tracking devices on their vehicles. In each of these cases, there has not been a warrant.
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
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CONTACT: CAIR Legal Counsel Nadhira Al-Khalili, 540-514-2093, E-Mail:firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR-SFBA Executive Director Zahra Billoo, 626-252-0885, E-Mail:email@example.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, 202-341-4171, E-Mail: email@example.com