“Last week’s argument [in United States v. Jones] found the members of the court behaving as much as our surrogates as they were our judges.”

November 17th, 2011

Across the ideological spectrum, they expressed alarm at the federal government’s core argument, which is that because the GPS tracks the location of vehicles only as they travel the public roadways — as law enforcement agents could do with their own eyes if there were enough of them and they could move fast enough — nothing of constitutional consequence occurred. There was no search.

Interesting imagery from Linda Greenhouse about arguments in Jones. I have some difficulty picturing Justice Scalia as a surrogate mother, but her points stands.

Linda thinks the Court will decide the case based on how they see the government’s policy affecting them (viz CJ’s question about placing GPS’s on the Justices’ vehicles).

In any event, it’s not implausible to suppose that the outcome of the GPS case will depend in large part on the justices’ view of reasonable government behavior toward a citizenry that includes themselves. In fact, it’s implausible to suppose otherwise.