by Scott McClallen
The Michigan Senate unanimously approved a measure that aims to require a warrant for search and seizure of electronic documents.
The federal and state Constitution protects against unreasonable search and seizure of people’s “houses, papers, and effects” without a warrant, but Senate Joint Resolution G clarifies that electronic data and communication fall under those protected items.
Sponsor Sen. Jim Runestad, R-White Lake, said the resolution aimed to update privacy protections to modern standards.
“Americans shouldn’t be forced to choose between using new technologies and protecting their privacy,” Runestad said in a statement. “It is long past time that our state extends the same basic protections to our electronic data that have existed for our paper data for centuries.”
“In 2020 privacy still matters,” Runestad said in a floor speech. “The Fourth Amendment still matters. We don’t know what technological advances will come next, but one thing is for sure – that after 246 years to us Americans, our right to privacy still matters.”
The question will be placed on the November 2020 general election ballot if two-thirds of the House supports it.
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Scott McClallen is a staff writer covering Michigan and Minnesota for The Center Square. A graduate of Hillsdale College, his work has appeared on Forbes.com and FEE.org. Previously, he worked as a financial analyst at Pepsi.