Anniversary Of Martin Luther King’s Assassination: The Poor People’s Campaign

By: Thursday April 4, 2013 9:24 am

Today is the 45th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King. Contrary to the sanitized saccharine version of Martin Luther King most school children are force feed stands the real man. A radical. A democratic socialist. A man truly despised in the circles of power. Who, in the last campaign before he was struck down, expanded the search for justice beyond nondiscrimination into the realm of true empowerment.

 

NATO 3: Chicago Judge Rules Illinois Terrorism Statute Constitutional

By: Thursday March 28, 2013 12:10 pm

Judge Thaddeus Wilson – holding down the house in Room 303 of the Cook County Courthouse in Chicago, IL – ruled the Illinois terrorism statute constitutional on its face.

This ruling was issued approximately two months after the attorneys defending the three clients known as the “NATO 3” issued a motion and memorandum arguing the law defied the dictates of the First Amendment because it is overly-broad as currently written, an argument rejected by Wilson.

Supreme Court: Police Dog Powers Do Not Include Warrantless Searches of a Person’s Home

By: Tuesday March 26, 2013 10:20 am

The Supreme Court has ruled in a 5-4 decision that when the government uses trained police dogs to investigate a home and its immediate surroundings it is a “search” under the Fourth Amendment.

The case involved the Miami-Dade Police Department and Drug Enforcement Administration responding to an “unverified tip that marijuana was being grown in the home” of Joelis Jardines. In 2006, a joint surveillance team watched Jardines’ home and then, seeing there was no activity around the house, Miami-Dade Detective William Pedraja approached the home with Detective Douglas Bartelt, who had arrived at the scene with a drug-sniffing dog.

NSA Whistleblower Thomas Drake on the US Secrecy State as Predator of the First Amendment

By: Sunday March 17, 2013 12:30 pm

National Security Agency whistleblower Thomas Drake delivered a speech at the National Press Club luncheon on March 15. He addressed the “long shadow of government secrecy” that increasingly “obscures the view of democracy in our constitutional republic or what’s left of it.”

The speech focuses explicitly on free speech and the First Amendment. Drake was indicted under the Espionage Act and threatened with the potential of serving the rest of his life in prison for exposing fraud, waste, abuse and illegality related to warrantless wiretapping by the NSA.

Court Finds FBI-Issued National Security Letters ‘Significantly Infringe Upon Speech’

By: Saturday March 16, 2013 9:00 am

The court determined National Security Letters are not “narrowly tailored on their face, since they apply, without distinction, to both the content of the NSLs and to the very fact of having received one.” The government claims prohibiting recipients from talking about NSLs is “necessary to serve national security in ongoing investigations,” but the government “has not shown that it is generally necessary to prohibit recipients from disclosing the mere fact of their receipt of NSLs.”

Court Rules Forensic Examination of Electronics in Border Searches Requires ‘Reasonable Suspicion’

By: Friday March 8, 2013 5:02 pm

A United States federal appeals court has ruled suspicionless searches do not violate the Fourth Amendment but border patrol agents do need “reasonable suspicion” in order to conduct forensic examinations of a person’s devices.

Clapper v Amnesty: Courts and Congress v Our Constitution

By: Wednesday February 27, 2013 7:05 pm

The fault line visible in yesterday’s 5-4 decision was not between a conservative majority and a liberal minority, but rather between a deferentialist insurgent majority and an independent moderate minority. Put another way, the majority’s decision would be predictable in a country like China, or the former Soviet Union, where courts are expected to defer to an imperial executive branch.

There was a time when America was different.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Jeanne Theoharis: The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks

By: Saturday February 23, 2013 1:59 pm

It’s one thing to be at the center of a culture-shifting event, and something else entirely to continue to live your life while the rest of the world reacts to that event — and you — for the rest of your life. You are not only changed by the event itself, but continue to be shaped by the reactions that others have to it, and they way they interpret what you have done.

In her portrait of Rosa Parks, Jeanne Theoharis invites her readers to distinguish between these two things, and in so doing, she leads us to re-think who Parks was, what it means to be an activist, and the line between person and symbol. The introduction to the book, entitled “National Honor/Public Mythology: The Passing of Rosa Parks,” lays out the various two-dimensional images of this very three dimensional woman, and from there Theoharis unpacks her story.

And what a story it is.

White House Tasks Itself With Controlling Speech On The Internet

By: Monday February 18, 2013 9:17 am

The War of on Terror continues with a new grave threat – people writing things on the internet. The government is now trying to find ways to counter “online radicalization to violence” a phrase so broad it could mean practically anything.

DHS Finds Suspicionless Border Searches Do Not Violate Americans’ Civil Liberties

By: Friday February 8, 2013 3:20 pm

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has determined that border searches of American citizens without probable cause or suspicion, which sometimes result in the seizure of laptops, cell phones or other electronic devices, do not violate civil liberties. How DHS drew these self-serving conclusions is unknown because no evidence to support these conclusions was released by DHS.

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