In this Nov. 2, 2020, file photo an American flag waves in front of the Supreme Court building on Capitol Hill in Washington. The Supreme Court punted on a case over whether the Trump administration can exclude people in the country illegally from the count used for divvying up congressional seats.
An unusual majority of the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act doesn’t cover cases in which a person accesses a computer system they are authorized to use.
Former President Donald Trump’s three Supreme Court nominees – Justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett – joined liberal Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan to impose limits on the landmark cybercrime law.
The case, Nathan Van Buren v. United States, involved a former Georgia police officer who was accused of looking up a license plate number in the state’s database in exchange for money. The court found that though Van Buren accessed the system for improper reasons, he was authorized to use the computer database.
Civil liberties groups had argued that widening the scope of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act