Runestad supports ballot language for his privacy amendment

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Jim Runestad spoke before the Michigan Board of State Canvassers Wednesday on his resolution to protect state residents against unreasonable searches and seizures.

“I fully support the ballot language for Senate Joint Resolution G,” said Runestad, R-White Lake. “This constitutional amendment would ensure that our Fourth Amendment rights are guaranteed for years to come.”

In June the Legislature approved SJR G to clearly define in the Michigan Constitution that electronic data and communications are property and are exempt from search and seizure without a warrant.

The U.S. Supreme Court has held that law enforcement must obtain a warrant to search emails and cell phones seized during arrest.

Runestad said that many of the privacy court case judgments narrowly defend privacy protections and that this issue will continue to be litigated with each new technology and circumstance.

“We may not be able to predict what technology will come next, or what advancement is around the corner,” Runestad said. “But this constitutional amendment is an opportunity for the people of our state to guarantee that their privacy rights will be fully protected, rather than litigated.”

The Board of State Canvassers approved the ballot language Wednesday. The proposal will appear on the statewide ballot on Election Day, Nov. 3.