Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Privacy rights and Justice Scalia

Although I've argued many times in the past that Justice Scalia was the best Supreme Court Justice for criminal defendants on the Court in which he sat, he was not a big 4th Amendment guy and certainly not a big privacy rights advocate.  Nevertheless, his family asked that his burial site be kept secret from the public.  The internet didn't let that happen for long.  From the AP:

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's funeral was attended by thousands and carried on live television, but when the hearse pulled away from the church and headed to his burial site, his family asked for privacy and Supreme Court officials declined to say where Scalia was being laid to rest.
But few things stay private in the internet age, and Scalia's grave has become public with the help of a website.
Within months of his death in February, the location of Scalia's grave - at Fairfax Memorial Park in Virginia - was recorded on the cemetery website Findagrave.com with precision: Garden of the Crucifixion, Lot 870, Site A. A contributor to the site added photos, too. Recently Wikipedia added the location and a photo to Scalia's page.
Citing privacy, cemetery President Michael H. Doherty declined to discuss the late justice or say how frequently visitors ask for help finding Scalia's gravesite in the cemetery that is dotted with brightly colored artificial flowers and in-ground memorial markers rather than headstones. But the cemetery will direct anyone who asks, its standard practice for any gravesite, though with the information posted online, visitors don't necessarily need help. When an Associated Press reporter visited recently, a bronze vase that's part of the justice's gravesite was empty; Find A Grave's pictures from May showed fresh flowers.
Scalia is the first Supreme Court justice to be buried at the cemetery. Some are buried at Rock Creek Cemetery and Oak Hill Cemetery in Washington and Cedar Hill Cemetery in Suitland, Maryland.

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