The Drug Enforcement Administration wants to block the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah from stepping into a court case over whether investigators can do warrantless searches of a database of all prescription drug records in the state.
More than 40 states keep similar databases, but Utah recently passed a law requiring investigators to get a warrant before they search it.
DEA lawyers argue they’re exempt from that law because they’re a federal agency, but state officials contend they have to follow it like other investigators.
The ACLU wants to jump into the suit in support of the state. They say allowing agents to access the information without a warrant amounts to an unreasonable search of people’s “digital medicine cabinets” — a violation of the Fourth Amendment.