Case summary: Carpenter v. United States (2018)

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Carpenter v. United States was our winter 2017 SCOTUS in the Classroom case.  

Each SCOTUS Term, Street Law selects the most classroom-relevant, student-friendly cases as our SCOTUS in the Classroom cases. Teachers are encouraged to hold moot courts or mini-moot courts of the case the same weeks that the Supreme Court hears arguments, giving students the opportunity to follow discussion and analysis in the news and listen to or read a transcript of the actual oral arguments at the Court. 

Case Summary and Activities:

Case Issue: 

Did the government need to get a warrant before gathering location data about Carpenter’s cellphone from his wireless company? 

Case Briefs:

Oral Argument:


News Articles and Resources:

  • SCOTUSblog: The justices return to cellphones and the Fourth Amendment: In Plain English
  • Video: Debate on ‘Carpenter v. United States,’ the Fourth Amendment cell-site case

How to Conduct a Moot Court or a Mini-Moot Court:

Additional details:

  • All Street Law Case Summaries include case facts, issues, relevant constitutional provisions/statutes/precedents, arguments for each side, and decision. They have been reviewed by both legal experts and educators and are ready for classroom use.  
  • Format: downloadable Word .docx (You must create an account and "check out" to download free resources. You will not be required to provide payment information.)
  • © 2017 Street Law, Inc. Free for non-commercial educational use. Permissions questions? Email [email protected]
  • The Supreme Court Historical Society is our longstanding partner in the development of U.S. Supreme Court-themed classroom resources.   
  • Learn more about Street Law's commitment and approach to quality curriculum.