Bill Would Allow Judges to Issue Search Warrant by Telephone

Tennessee prosecutors are supporting a bill to allow a magistrate or judge to issue a search warrant by telephone or “other reliable electronic means," the Times News reports. Current law calls for a law enforcement officer to appear before a magistrate or judge who will examine documents and issue a search warrant based on probable cause and supported by an affidavit. Sullivan County District Attorney General Barry Staubus said the bill originated from his office and is backed by state district attorneys general. He said it is in response to a 2013 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that blocked law enforcement from drawing blood without a search warrant in drunken-driving investigations. Staubus said this system moves too slowly when quick decisions need to be made, especially in DUI cases.