Nov 13, 2019

Court rules against warrantless searches of international travelers' devices

Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles. Photo: Daniel Slim/AFP via Getty Images

A federal judge in Boston ruled Tuesday that warrantless government searches of international travelers' phones and laptops at airports and other U.S. ports of entry are unconstitutional.

Why it matters: The ruling enhances the Fourth Amendment protections of international travelers who enter the country, said Esha Bhandari, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, which filed the lawsuit along with the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

  • "The government has vigorously defended the searches as a critical tool to protect America," AP notes.

What they're saying: "Border officers must now demonstrate individualized suspicion of contraband before they can search a traveler’s device," the ACLU said in a news release.

Read the judgment:

Go deeper: Supreme Court weighs judicial role, human impact of ending DACA

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Podcast: The future of DACA

The Supreme Court last week heard arguments on President Trump's efforts to end DACA, the Obama-era program that allows hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants to remain in the country if brought here as minors. Dan digs in with Axios' Stef Kight, who watched and reported on the proceedings.

Go deeper: Supreme Court weighs judicial role, human impact of ending DACA

Keep ReadingArrowNov 19, 2019

Supreme Court leaves in place Kentucky law requiring ultrasounds before abortions

The Supreme Court building on Nov. 14. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Monday declined to review a Kentucky law mandating that doctors show and describe ultrasound images and play an audible heartbeat of the fetus to patients seeking abortions, NBC News reports.

The big picture: The court declined to hear an appeal from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on behalf of Kentucky's lone abortion clinic. The ACLU argued the statute's only purpose is to coerce a patient into opting out of having an abortion, while defenders said it helps people make a well-informed decision.

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Supreme Court grants emergency stay blocking subpoena for Trump tax returns

Photo: Joshua Lott/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Monday granted an emergency stay blocking Congress from enforcing a subpoena for President Trump's financial records, which a lower court had upheld in October.

Why it matters: The court didn't explain its reasoning, but the decision makes it likely that it will take up the case. For now, Trump's longtime accounting firm Mazars USA will not be forced to turn over Trump's tax returns to House Democrats investigating the president.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Nov 25, 2019