Over the last few years, President Obama’s Administration has taken many constitutionally-dubious positions in cases before the Supreme Court. In many of those cases, the Supreme Court unanimously rejected the Administration’s position. Senators should fully air these issues at Loretta Lynch’s confirmation hearings.
Ms. Lynch should not be allowed to simply parrot her fidelity to the Supreme Court’s conclusions in these cases, as did Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor when she was questioned about Second Amendment rights (she laterundermined her own statements on that issue). The Senators should require an in-depth explanation of her perspective on these and other important legal principles, which will give insight into how she plans to administer the Department of Justice.
1. Do you think the government should be able to conduct a warrantless search of your smartphone during an arrest? If so, why?
In Riley v. California, the Obama Administration filed an amicus brief arguing that searching a smartphone is “materially indistinguishable” from searching a pack of cigarettes.
The Supreme Court unanimously rejected that claim, saying that the government’s argument was “like saying a ride on horseback is materially indistinguishable from a flight to the moon.”