Challenging the good-faith exception, Jones' attorneys said a magistrate judge in Washington acted "merely as a rubber stamp for law enforcement" when he granted a court order giving agents access to tower data without a warrant.
The judge, John Facciola, later changed his position and started denying similar warrantless requests for prospective cell-site information. Huvelle defended Facciola. That a judge reconsiders an issue at a later date, Huvelle said, doesn't mean the judge was acting as a "rubber stamp" in the first place. Huvelle said "there is no evidence in the record to support such a frivolous contention."
Ultimately, Huvelle noted, the Supreme Court may one day take up the so-called "third-party doctrine" when it comes to the Fourth Amendment and privacy.
Indeed, Justice Sonia Sotomayor said in the Jones opinion in January that "it may be necessary to reconsider the premise that an individual has no reasonable expectation of privacy in information voluntarily disclosed to third parties."
Jones, who remains in federal custody, is scheduled to stand trial in January. Huvelle is now mulling whether to allow the drug evidence that the authorities obtained from the search of the Maryland house. She heard testimony last week but didn't immediately rule.
First reported in The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times.
Engel, Joshua A., "In U.S. v. Jones Supreme Court Rules No Warrantless GPS Tracking."