US Police Idly Watch as Congo President’s Security Force Beats Protesters on American Streets

By: Thursday August 7, 2014 10:33 am

Despite the protests of Democratic Republic of Congo President Joesph Kabila’s presidency taking place on American soil, President Kabila’s security forces saw fit to brutalize the protesters – beating them right in front of American law enforcement. Video shows what is believed to be a member of President Kabila’s security detail stomp a protester as a US police officer looks on. The thugs walk away and all the police do is offer to call the beaten man an ambulance – protect and serve much?

 

Death Row Prisoner Challenges Lethal Injection Secrecy Based on 1st Amendment

By: Wednesday July 16, 2014 11:02 am

An Arizona death row prisoner is arguing that the government’s secrecy is in violation of the First Amendment rights of all citizens to have complete information about the execution process.

US Citizens Sue Government Over ‘Suspicious Activity’ Program Which Keeps Files on Innocent People

By: Thursday July 10, 2014 6:00 pm

he American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit on behalf of five United States citizens challenging a domestic surveillance program, which involves the collection of “suspicious activity reports” on individuals.

The federal government has a National Suspicious Activity Reporting Initiative (NSI) that, according to the ACLU’s filed complaint [PDF], “encourages state and local law enforcement agencies as well as private actors to collect and report information that has a potential nexus to terrorism in the form of so-called ‘suspicious activity reports [SARs].’”

Any individual who is flagged as having a “potential nexus to terrorism” will automatically be subject to “law enforcement scrutiny.

Good News? Maybe. Supreme Court Says Cell Phone Searches Need Warrants

By: Monday June 30, 2014 2:32 pm

Does this matter when talking about the NSA’s and the FBI’s technological dragnet? Maybe. Some suggest that law enforcement will work around the new restrictions by seeking perfunctory, expedited warrants automatically for each arrest, or through the use of technologies such as Stingray, which can electronically gather cell conversations without warrant. Stingray can also be used to track a person’s movements without a warrant, negating the old-school GPS devices the Supreme Court declared require a warrant.

Supreme Court: First Amendment Protects Public Employees Who Give Whistleblower Testimony

By: Thursday June 19, 2014 4:20 pm

The United States Supreme Court ruled that the First Amendment protects public employees who provide testimony during corruption trials from job retaliation, such as being fired.

The case, Lane v. Franks, involves Edward Lane, who according to NPR was “hired in 2006 to head a program for juvenile offenders” at Central Alabama Community College that provided “counseling and education as an alternative to incarceration.” The program “received substantial federal funds.”

Judge Dismisses Major Lawsuit Against Alleged Domestic Military Spying on Antiwar Activists Without Reviewing Evidence

By: Thursday June 19, 2014 9:10 am

A federal district court judge in the state of Washington has dismissed a major lawsuit challenging alleged domestic military spying against antiwar activists. He made the choice not to do his job, admitted to lawyers representing activists that he had not reviewed all the evidence and issued a decision that could seriously jeopardize the ability of citizens to dissent in American society if it is allowed to stand.

House Committees Take First Step to Reform NSA

By: Thursday May 15, 2014 5:16 pm

Last week, the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees approved a bill that would begin the process of restoring constitutional limits to dragnet government surveillance. While a praiseworthy step in the right direction, the progress to date remains both entirely too slow, and deferential to the intelligence agencies.

Media Organizations Challenge Secrecy Around Execution Drugs for Lethal Injections

By: Thursday May 15, 2014 4:20 pm

Five media organizations are challenging Missouri’s Department of Corrections, which is keeping critical information about execution drugs that are being used for lethal injections secret.

Late Night: Today Is World Press Freedom Day and We Have Problems to Fix

By: Saturday May 3, 2014 8:00 pm

The Freedom of the Press Clause in the First Amendment protects our right to know what our government is doing. Together with the Freedom of Speech Clause and the Freedom of Assembly Clause of the First Amendment, these three freedoms and the right to vote are essential to support our democracy.

Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, Donald Sterling, and Holding Them to Account

By: Saturday May 3, 2014 9:05 am

Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore — he of the 10 Commandments monument fame — appears to be possibly following in the footsteps of the LA Clippers’ owner Donald Sterling, as a recording of his speech to a group of Alabama clergy is becoming widely available. It seems Moore thinks the first amendment only applies to some people — you know, the Christians that founded this place. In listening to Moore’s speech, I couldn’t help but think of the disgraced-and-banned-for-life-but-still-the-owner-for-at-least-a-while-longer of the LA Clippers, Donald Sterling. Both Moore and Sterling exhibit the same sense of arrogance and entitlement, and the views of both Moore and Sterling were not some secret thing that just emerged. Both Moore and Sterling operate in a sheltered and rarified world — Moore atop the Supreme Court of Alabama, and Sterling amongst the 30 owners of the NBA teams — and seem to think that this insulated world allows them free reign to hold their narrowminded views with little accountability to anyone.

Hearing each of them put his bigotry front and center with no apologies, it’s hard NOT to connect the two. So I did . . .

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