California legislators are nearing a final vote on a cell phone privacy bill that could force Gov. Jerry Brown to choose sides between civil liberties advocates and police.
SB914 by Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, would overturn a state Supreme Court ruling in January that allowed officers, without a warrant, to search the contents of a cell phone they take from anyone they arrest.
The majority in the 5-2 ruling said arrestees lose their right of privacy in anything they're carrying when taken into custody. Leno said the decision lets police comb through private information at will without the judicial scrutiny that the law is supposed to require.
Searches incident to arrest should not be fishing expeditions.