A unanimous Supreme Court decision says police may not generally search the cell phones of people they arrest without first getting search warrants.

The justices say cell phones are powerful devices unlike anything else police may find on someone they arrest.


Civil libertarians successfully argued that the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution covered cellphones in insuring the right of individuals to be "secure in their persons, houses, papers or effects."  

The Supreme Court looked at two cases involving cellphone searches in making the ruling, one conducted by Boston Police and the other by San Diego Police.   

Chief Justice John Roberts says that because the phones contain so much information, police must get a warrant before looking through them.

-- The Associated Press