Justice Scalia Explains His Opinion in Jones

February 4th, 2012

At the ABA Conference:

Scalia spoke only for himself and four other justices in his majority opinion when he wrote that the police conduct was a physical intrusion that would have been considered a search within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment when it was adopted. On Saturday, Scalia said the decision was “pretty easy” because the Fourth Amendment has long been tied to trespass and property.

Some commentators have suggested Scalia’s approach was more narrow than that of the four other justices, who instead endorsed the reasonable-expectation-of-privacy test established in Katz v. United States. Apparently, Scalia doesn’t agree. “My opinion didn’t repudiate Katz. It is in addition,” Scalia told the ABA audience. “My approach was much more defendant friendly.”

Well that clarifies everything!