Carpenter v. United States

Thomas Diluglio
4 min readDec 1, 2017


In the Matter of:

The “Walrus” and the Supreme Court


The End


Constitutional Tradition


The Beginning


Constitutional Technology

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Analog Phones


Matchlock Guns


The Time Has Come

“The time has come,” the Walrus said,
“To talk of many things…

-Lewis Carroll The Walrus and the Carpenter


The Vagaries of “ancestral” Technology

Riley V. California

(From Internet sources) In 2014, the Supreme Court unanimously decided Riley V. California, which held that the warrantless search and seizure of digital contents of a cell phone during an arrest is unconstitutional. In its decision, the Court recognized that the public’s adoption of cell phones, combined with their capacity to hold vast quantities of detailed personal information makes cell phones vastly different from ancestral, analog phones. (Emphasis added)



It would seem that Riley has foreshadowed a sea change in the behavior of the United States Supreme Court. Not so much that the Court in its component parts hasn’t given consideration to the fact that the days of yore are no more.

More so, it is likely a signal that the High Court, as a complete entity, has reached a collective intellectual horizon. Whereat, it has proclaimed that its own dealings and its official pronouncements shall henceforth be colored.

Indelibly colored by a simple fact. A fact, which obtains in a world that is in the virtual throes of and at the very mercy of: a massive and invasive presence of constantly advancing, modern technology.


The 1st Supreme Technological Blind Spot

It would be preposterous to imagine the quaint vignette. Wherein the United States Supreme Court, its constituent human parts and its considerable infrastructure all labored under the technologies of the 18th and 19th Centuries.

Without modern technology the efficacy of the institution would be so hobbled. That it would be perfectly dormant as a vital segment of a tripartite American democracy.

Yet, today, the only semblance of the 18th and 19th Centuries that obtains in the hallowed, U.S. capital courtroom is the absence of visual media. Visual media is prominently missing in the otherwise complete effort to assist in the precise recordation and prompt transmission of the considerable proceedings that so often transpire therein. No digital or “analogue” technology is allowed in the visual development of a judicial record in the highest court of the land for the benefit of the enlightenment of the American citizen.

With that being said, the Supreme Court is “modern” in every other form of its expression vis-à-vis an obligation to describe and memorialize important procedural and legal events to the rest of society. The Court would never consider being hamstrung by the imposition upon its physical self of: the technology of yore.


The 2nd Supreme Technological Blind Spot

Yet, up to this time, that same vaunted institution has been intellectually content to hobble its mindset with a quaint obsession. That its interpretation of the Second Amendment of the country’s Constitution is immune from considering the effects of modern technology and “gun-rights” in the same way that it adopts the advances of technology in its day-to-day operations as an institution or as it obtains to the advancement of analogue telephone technology into the digital age as is echoed in the case: Carpenter V. United States.


With Carpenter ‘the time has come’:


‘…the end of the beginning

…and so “the time has come” said the Court in Carpenter. To bring not only the use of modern communication technology into the argument of Constitutional rights but also its more serious mechanical sister-in-advanced-modern-technology: ‘machine-arms’.

After all, it would seem, in the spirit of fundamental fairness as well as conscientious judicial second-nature to: advance fair argument. In the case of Carpenter: to advance fair argument regarding technological considerations as pertains to judicial interpretation. To advance fair argument, all in an egalitarian fashion that is ‘across the board’ so to speak.

Such that, in cases that address the persistent adaptation of fallacies of 18th Century constitutional presumptions, judicial honesty will heretofore apply the new born premise that: with the advancement of technology comes advancement of practicality. In both constitutional thought and judicial deed.


“Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end.

But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”

-Winston Churchill


Posted 11 minutes ago by DILULIUS, King of Troy