US. Vs Jones argues whether the use of a GPS tracking device without a warrant on a respondents vehicle to monitor it's movements is constitutional. The amendment argued in this case is the 4th.The FBI placed a GPS device on a suspect's car -- a Jeep belonging to D.C. nightclub owner Antoine Jones -- and used it to track the car for a month, without a warrant. (In fact, a federal judge had authorized the use of the GPS device, but the device wasn't installed until a day after the warrant expired.)
The placement of the GPS e system is the result of an ongoing case dating back to 2008, where Jones was convicted to life in prison for conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute five or more kilograms of cocaine and 50 or more grams of cocaine base.The D.C. court of appeals then overturned the ruling, saying that it violated his 4th amendment rights. The case is now being argued in the supreme court because the D.C. courts claim Jones had no fourth amendment rights after being convicted.
On Tuesday November 8th, the case was argued in front of the Supreme Court. Midway through the case, Justice John G Roberts stated that such a right may exist, which may trump the fact that it was in public. In this case, the latest in a continuing series in which the Court examines potential constitutional limits on police use of new technology, the federal government is relying very heavily upon the fact that the GPS technology it wants to use is carried out only when the cars or trucks to which such a device is attached are going from place to place on public streets or highways.