The Ninth Circuit issued an opinion three years ago in United States v. Comprehensive Drug Testing, Inc. that attracted nationwide attention because it authorized the seizure of hundreds of drug-testing results of professional athletes that were outside the scope of the original warrant executed by government agents investigating the Balco steroid scandal. Recently, the court issued an en banc opinion which reversed much of the original panel’s order. It ordered the testing results to be returned and any copies destroyed. The outcome was entirely based on issue preclusion grounds since the government had failed to timely appeal one of the district court’s orders. What is notable about the court’s opinion is that it enacted a new set of guidelines for searches of electronic media. If the ruling stands, it will impose the most stringent restrictions on searches of electronic media in the country and could revolutionize this area of law. Alternatively, the decision could spur the Supreme Court to finally issue guidance in this emerging area of law.
- criminal procedure computer search balco
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