Constitution ‘exemption’ zone spans 100 miles inland of US border–

Constitution ‘exemption’ zone spans 100 miles inland of US border–

- in News and Opinion
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AFP Photo / John Moore

AFP Photo / John Moore

A US federal judge has reaffirmed an Obama administration policy granting officials the authority to search Americans’ laptops, citing a controversial premise that makes citizens within 100 miles of the border eligible for a police check.

District Judge Edward Korman made his ruling in New York on Tuesday, more than three years after the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed suit. The ACLU claimed that – since Americans put so much of their lives on their computers, cell phones, and other devices – border officials should have reasonable suspicion before sifting through someone’s personal files.

Attorneys argued that searches conducted without reasonable suspicion are a violation of the Fourth Amendment, which protects against unreasonable search and seizure.

Not so, according to Judge Korman. In his decision Tuesday he argued that the area 100 miles inland falls under a “border exemption.”

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