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.

 

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.

‘People Carry Their Entire Lives on Cell Phones’—Supreme Court Hears Arguments on Police Searches

By: Tuesday April 29, 2014 3:58 pm

The Supreme Court heard argument in two cases related to whether law enforcement must obtain a warrant to search a cell phone. In both cases, the justices seemed reluctant to impose a one-size-fits-all approach—either a prohibition on searches without a warrant or a categorical rule that would allow a search if it fit within a limited scope.

One case, Riley v. California, involves an officer who seized a “smartphone” from a person who was under arrest and began to scroll through its contents at the scene of the arrest. He was looking through text messages and the phone’s contact list. The second case, United States v. Wurie, an officer believed the person arrested had used a cell phone to arrange a drug deal. At the police station, an officer noticed that a “flip” phone was repeatedly receiving calls from a number labeled “my house.” The officer searched through the call log on the phone in order to obtain the home phone number.

Good News: Supreme Court Rules Against Rick Scott’s Sweeping Drug Tests

By: Tuesday April 22, 2014 8:02 am

The U.S. Supreme Court refused Monday to hear an appeal by Florida Governor, Republican and presidential-candidate wannabe Rick Scott. Scott, since 2011, has been trying to mandate random drug tests for some 85,000 state workers because, yeah, drugs are bad or something. Scott’s executive order did not apply only to employees, such as drivers or pilots, whose duties might in fact be severely affected by drug use. Everybody, from receptionists to scuba divers, would be subject. By refusing to reopen the case, the Supreme Court agreed that Scott’s order was so broad as to violate Constitutional protections against unwarranted search and seizure.

Justice Department: Routine Use of Deadly Force by Albuquerque Police Result of ‘Culture of Aggression’

By: Thursday April 10, 2014 3:25 pm

A Department of Justice civil investigation has found that a majority of shootings by Albuquerque police officers between 2009 to 2012 were unconstitutional. Officers “too often use deadly force” when using their firearms.

Dissecting Obama’s Proposed NSA Reforms

By: Friday March 28, 2014 7:35 am

So, after nine months of ignoring the Snowden revelations, downplaying the the Snowden revelations, not telling the truth about the Snowden revelations, insulting the Snowden revelations, sending members of his administration to lie to Congress about the Snowden revelations and claiming everything the NSA does is legal, righteous and necessary to keep the barbarians outside the gates, Obama is coincidentally now proposing some “reforms” without acknowledging the Snowden revelations. Let’s have a look based on what we know right now.

The Feinstein Syndrome: “The Fourth Amendment for Me, But Not for Thee”

By: Wednesday March 12, 2014 4:48 pm

Who knows, soon we might see headlines and cable TV shows asking: “Is Dianne Feinstein a whistleblower or a traitor?”

Supremely Disturbing Constitutional Analysis Changes Bill of Rights

By: Tuesday February 25, 2014 4:47 pm

The US Supreme Court has handed American law enforcement agencies an unqualified victory that arguably restricts the Constitutional prohibition against unwarranted searches and seizures.

Arizona Legislature Passes Bill Legitimizing Discrimination Against Homosexuals

By: Saturday February 22, 2014 12:50 pm

When the going gets tough, the hypocritical and willfully ignorant right-wing-hate-machine in Arizona gets weird.

Unnamed Officials Tell Wall Street Journal They May Keep More Data Because of NSA Lawsuits

By: Thursday February 20, 2014 6:40 am

Unnamed United States government officials have apparently told the Wall Street Journal that the National Security Agency might have to expand its “collection” of Americans’ phone records because people are suing the government to stop what they consider to be intrusive and unconstitutional surveillance.

This idea being floated in a major national newspaper is the first that any lawyer involved in cases against the government have heard this wild argument. Is it some kind of ham-handed attempt to help the NSA retain control of the phone records?

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