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 . . .

Hedges v. Obama: The Supreme Court Digs Its Head Deeper Into the Sand

By: Wednesday April 30, 2014 6:36 pm

On Monday, the Supreme Court declined to consider Hedges v. Obama, a constitutional claim challenging a law that could enable the indefinite military detention of US citizens—within the US—without trial, charge, or evidence of crime. The decision is remarkable, both for its implications for fundamental rights, and its reflection on judicial independence.

Communication Management Units: BOP’s Lack of Process Allows for Targeting of Muslims, Political Speech

By: Thursday April 24, 2014 2:23 pm

The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), which has brought a lawsuit on behalf of prisoners placed in restrictive prison units known as Communications Management Units (CMUs), has revealed documentation that shows for the first time how people are designated for placement in CMUs, what they are told by the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) when placed in a CMU, and how they’re ongoing imprisonment in the CMU is reviewed by BOP.

American Muslims Sue FBI for Allegedly Placing Them on No Fly List After They Refused to Become Informants

By: Wednesday April 23, 2014 9:29 am

A lawsuit brought on behalf of four American Muslim men has been filed against the FBI for allegedly punishing them by placing them on the No Fly List when they refused to become informants and spy on American Muslim communities.

Anti-Fracking Activist Can Now Go to the Hospital (update)

By: Sunday March 30, 2014 1:09 pm

Vera Scroggins of Susquehanna County, Pa., will now be allowed to go to her hospital, supermarket, drug store, several restaurants, and the place where she goes for rehabilitation therapy. She can also go to the county’s recycling center, which is on 12.5 acres of land the county had leased to Cabot Gas & Oil Corp., one of the largest drillers in the country.

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