Traveling Oral Argument

Anderson University

The Supreme Court traveled to Anderson University's Reardon Auditorium in Anderson (Madison County), to hear oral arguments on Wednesday, September 26, at 10:00 am EDT.

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What is an oral argument?

Public Supreme Court proceedings are called "oral arguments," which provide the Justices with the opportunity to ask attorneys questions about the cases. Usually, oral arguments last 40 minutes to an hour. An honorary bailiff will call the court to order. Each side has 20 minutes to argue. Typically the appealing party will open the argument, the other side then responds, and then the appealing party has the last word. More information including rules for attending Supreme Court oral arguments can be found online.

Relevant State Social Studies Standards

The traveling oral arguments program addresses state academic standards in U.S. Government and United States History. The argument process demonstrates the principles of due process, judicial review, and an independent judiciary.

Case materials for Marcus Zanders v. State of Indiana (15S01-1611-CR-571)

Following a jury trial in Dearborn County, Marcus Zanders was convicted of robbery and unlawful possession of a firearm. The Court of Appeals reversed his convictions, concluding police officers' warrantless seizure of historical cell-site location information ("CSLI") compiled by Zanders' mobile phone provider violated his Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. Zanders v. State, 58 N.E.3d 254 (Ind. Ct. App. 2016), vacated.

The Indiana Supreme Court granted transfer and affirmed the convictions, holding the "third-party doctrine" (the principle that individuals do not reasonably expect privacy in information they voluntarily relinquish to third parties) applied to the historical CSLI, so there was no "search" under the Fourth Amendment. The Court also found no violation of the Indiana Constitution because the warrantless seizure of the historical CSLI was reasonable under the totality of the circumstances. Zanders v. State, 73 N.E.3d 178 (Ind. 2017), vacated.

The United States Supreme Court granted Zanders' petition for writ of certiorari, vacated the Indiana Supreme Court opinion, and remanded for further consideration in light of Carpenter v. United States, 585 U.S. ___, 138 S. Ct. 2206 (2018). Carpenter holds the third-party doctrine does not apply to historical CSLI, and under the Fourth Amendment "the Government must generally obtain a search warrant supported by probable cause before acquiring such records." Id. at 2221.

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