Holding: Attaching a GPS device to a vehicle and then using the device to monitor the vehicle’s movements constitutes a search under the Fourth Amendment.
Plain English Holding: The defendant’s conviction for drug trafficking must be reversed when some of the evidence to convict him was obtained through a GPS tracking device on his car, because the attachment of the GPS tracking device and then the use of that device to monitor the car’s whereabouts is a “search” for purposes of the Fourth Amendment.
Judgment: Affirmed, 9-0, in an opinion by Justice Scalia on January 23, 2012. Justice Sotomayor filed a concurring opinion. Justice Alito also filed a concurring opinion, which was joined by Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, and Kagan. The five concurring members of the Court do not resolve the question of whether the search was reasonable in this case.
Merits Briefs for the Petitioner
Amicus briefs in support of the Petitioner
Merits Briefs for the Respondent
Amicus Briefs in Support of the Respondent