Runestad resolution would protect private property

Runestad resolution would protect private property

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Jim Runestad introduced a resolution on Wednesday that would protect residents against certain unreasonable searches and seizures.

Senate Joint Resolution G would clearly define in the Michigan Constitution that electronic communications are property and, as such, are exempt from search and seizure without a warrant.

“The right of individuals to be secure from unreasonable searches and seizures is fundamental and should be clearly addressed in our state’s constitution,” said Runestad, R-White Lake. “Court decisions across the nation have upheld the protection of electronic property rights.

“We should extend that protection here in Michigan, and the fact that we have 27 co-sponsors of the resolution across both aisles demonstrates just how broad the support for this measure is.”

Runestad said the same resolution passed in the state House in 2016 with 107 supporting votes and is likely to be supported overwhelmingly by Michigan residents if placed on the ballot.

The lawmaker also mentioned that a similar law in the state of Missouri is working as intended.

“Missouri adopted this protection on the state’s August 2014 ballot with 75% approval by voters,” Runestad said. “The attorney general’s office in Missouri and the Missouri Prosecutor’s Association have both concluded that no issues have arisen from the passage of this amendment.”

SJR G has been referred to the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety for consideration.

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