As a part of a federal investigation of the Bay Area Lab Cooperative (BALCO) for allegedly providing illegal steroids to professional baseball players, the U.S. government received a warrant to search Comprehensive Drug Testing, Inc.’s computers that contained confidential test results of ten players who they had probable cause to believe received steroids from BALCO. In 2010, the Ninth Circuit majority in United States v. Comprehensive Drug Testing, Inc. held that the government executed an unconstitutional “dragnet” search by examining the entire computer directory containing the test results of all professional athletes rather than just the records of those players for whom the government had probable cause. Furthermore, Chief Judge Alex Kozinski, in what previously appeared in the 2009 Ninth Circuit majority opinion but is now in the 2010 concurrence, provided guidelines regarding how to conduct a lawful electronic search and seizure. This Note suggests that even though Kozinski’s guidelines cannot technically constitute an advisory opinion because they are no longer binding Ninth Circuit law, they will likely have the same effect because they will still “advise” future legal actors’ actions.Additionally, this Note argues that new legislation is necessary to strike the best balance between the government’s interest in law enforcement and the right of the individual to be free from unreasonable search andseizure in the digital realm.
Mining for Manny: Electronic Search and Seizure in the Aftermath of United States v. Comprehensive Drug Testing,
44 Loy. L.A. L. Rev. 771
Available at: https://digitalcommons.lmu.edu/llr/vol44/iss2/15