When Arnold arrived at the Los Angeles International Airport after
When Arnold arrived at the Los Angeles International Airport after returning from a trip to the Philippines, he proceeded through the checkpoint at customs with his luggage, including a laptop computer and several computer accessories. He was requested to turn on the computer for scanning. Upon an inspection, special agents from U. S. Homeland Security and Customs Enforcement discovered numerous images of child pornography and information about an attempt to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a person under 18 years of age in the Philippines. Security had obtained a warrant to legally seize the laptop, and Arnold filed a motion in a U. S. district court to suppress the evidence based on his Fourth Amendment right against an unreasonable search and seizure of information stored on his laptop computer. In response to this motion, the government invoked the “ border doctrine,” giving them a legitimate right to conduct a search of the laptop. This right was based on a prior precedent ( U. S. v. Ramsey), which stated that searches made at the border are reasonable simply because they occur at the border and that international American airports are the equivalent of a border. Reference was also made to a history of searches of closed containers such as briefcases, purses, pictures, film, and other graphic material that have traditionally been searched at the border without particularized suspicion being necessary. The Ninth Circuit Court backed the government ( reversed the decision of the district court favoring Arnold) based on the Ramsey precedent and the fact that there was no precedent to declare when a border search should be deemed unreasonable. Arnold appealed to the U. S. Supreme Court, but the Court refused to hear his appeal. Do you agree with the Ninth Circuit Court’s decision to rule against Arnold?
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