1392 posts tagged with Law.
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Dildos illegal in Texas???

Dildo's illegal in Texas? Apparently so. Let me get this straight... in a state where you can carry loaded firearms on your hip, if you get caught with more than 6 dildos or other "pleasure devices", it's a FELONY? Absolutely amazing. Texas is like a whole other country. It also helps explain a lot. (via obscurestore)
posted by Ynoxas on Nov 22, 2002 - 78 comments

Enforcing publication bans

Enforcing silence: American media are unsurprisingly preparing to publish details of Vancouver's Pickton case despite a Canadian publication ban. Are media blackouts censorship, necessary for justice, or both? Or are they just doomed to fail when you can just, you know, do stuff like this?
posted by transient on Nov 21, 2002 - 22 comments

It seems likely

It seems likely that we'll be hearing a lot more about tort reform, especially medical malpractice tort reform, over the next couple years. Sadly, many don't even know exactly what a tort is, let alone how the tort system works, although most have heard about individual lawsuits through the media. Conservatives tend to focus on capping damages, reigning in juries, and allowing businesses to contract out of tort liability. Liberals generally oppose these proposals, and some have a few ideas about reform as well. Of course, we could always follow the example of New Zealand and scrap the tort system altogether. Maybe the Supreme Court will give the GOP some suggestions about reform in their latest tort case.
posted by boltman on Nov 7, 2002 - 32 comments

Google censors search results

Google censors search results "Google, the world's most popular search engine, has quietly deleted more than 100 controversial sites from some search result listings. "
posted by mert on Oct 24, 2002 - 53 comments


The DMCA isn't the only Dumb Law. So may Strange Laws, even Sex Laws. There's many fun Obsolete Laws still on the books. The list Goes On and On.
Not sure what laws to follow, try A Law Librarian, or, better yet, WWJD?
posted by Blake on Oct 16, 2002 - 6 comments

Can the current prohibition really be blamed on one guy? First he tells Congress that "marijuana is the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind" and then World War 2 comes and farmers are encouraged to grow it. After the War, he turns around and tells Congress that it could be used by the Russians to make our men lazy and pacifistic. If he had kept his original argument, our men would be insane killers against the Russian army. What would the country be like if there never was a HARRY J. ANSLINGER ?
posted by Degaz on Oct 14, 2002 - 27 comments


Blawgs: Blogs from the legal world. Lessig is not the only lawyer sharing his expertise in the blog format. Blawgs range from individual lawyers (Ernie the Attorney) to entire firms using a collaborative format to focus on a single practice area (such as the Supreme Court). "Almost every law firm is trying to build a knowledge management system for itself to take advantage of the expertise within the firm," Svenson says. "But with blawgs, it happens organically. If you gave your lawyers their own blawgs, pretty soon everyone within the firm could see who knows the most about different topics." Are knowledge management systems feasible or practical yet?
posted by ajr on Oct 11, 2002 - 12 comments

A Charlotte couple

A Charlotte couple who has been fighting for nearly two years to regain custody of their 10 children from the Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services (DSS) could be thrown in jail if a district court judge finds them to be in contempt of court after a hearing tomorrow. When does government have the right to take your children without any explaination? And why will no one from our government discuss this situation?
posted by Macboy on Oct 10, 2002 - 42 comments

Nevada prosecutor accuses pro-marijuana group of using drug cartels for funding.

Nevada prosecutor accuses pro-marijuana group of using drug cartels for funding. A prosecutor has suggested a drug cartel backs efforts to legalize possession of up to 3 ounces of marijuana in Nevada. But an advocate for the proposal says the statement is "an outright lie, slanderous and libelous." Billy Rogers, spokesman for Nevadans for Responsible Law Enforcement (backed by the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), adds that Gary Booker, a chief deputy district attorney in Clark County, "ought to have his mouth washed out with soap."
posted by botono9 on Oct 8, 2002 - 21 comments

One big happy family

One big happy family Ottawa granted permission for three wives of a polygamist to stay in Canada permanently and an immigration official has warned that several more applications from polygamists' wives are likely on the way, according to internal government documents obtained by The Globe and Mail. The report says the women filled in "housewife" as their occupation on their applications for immigration. They stated they would receive financial assistance from Mr. Blackmore. Under marriage information, they wrote "not available."
posted by orange swan on Oct 7, 2002 - 39 comments

The Supreme Court

The Supreme Court begins its term this coming Monday. There are lots of exciting cases on the calendar (99k PDF). For example, Ewing v. California, which will test California's 3 strikes rule. Scheidler v. NOW, which has to do with anti-abortion activists blocking access to clinics. And of course, Eldred v. Ashcroft, where the issue is whether or not the 1998 Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act (PDF) is Constitutional. The last has been mentioned in a couple threads and has gotten loads of web attention, including this new piece from WIRED. A lot to look forward to, whether you're interested in one of the specific issues or you're just an avid armchair justice.
posted by jewishbuddha on Oct 4, 2002 - 22 comments

Do you know what the Second Amendment actually says?

Do you know what the Second Amendment actually says? UCLA Law Professor Eugene Volokh presents a remarkably clear, educated, and non-inflammatory explanation of the amendment, including plenty of historical references. As with my previous post (about Liberalism and Conservativism), I submit this not to promote a viewpoint, but to (hopefully) educate those who would debate about it.
posted by oissubke on Sep 29, 2002 - 33 comments

A bill is currently being pushed through Congress that will give health care providers, including those that are federally funded, the right to refuse to perform abortions or administer contraceptive medication for personal moral reasons. Next week: firefighters allowed to let houses burn down because they hate the color of the curtains.
posted by XQUZYPHYR on Sep 25, 2002 - 72 comments

A Visual Journey: Photographs by Lisa Law 1965-1971

A Visual Journey: Photographs by Lisa Law 1965-1971 Lisa Law's photographs provide glimpses into the folk and rock music scenes, California's blossoming counterculture, and the family-centered and spiritual world of commune life in New Mexico. They are moments that she lived, witnessed, and recorded on the frontier of cultural change.
posted by konolia on Sep 25, 2002 - 3 comments

Silence is Golden: A bizarre legal battle over a minute's silence in a recorded song has ended with a six-figure out-of-court settlement.
posted by LinusMines on Sep 23, 2002 - 24 comments

"I'm not a monster."

"I'm not a monster." Remember the woman caught on film hitting her daughter? She's now in custody. "It's clear here the young lady lost her temper.." Well, yeah.
posted by Yelling At Nothing on Sep 22, 2002 - 17 comments

MTV bans Public Enemy

MTV bans Public Enemy 's video "Gotta Give the Peeps What They Need" because the video contains the lyric "Free Mumia and H Rap Brown". MTV are willing to air the video if the lyric is cut. Public Enemy front-man Chuck D is vocal in his response. Responsible action or censorship in its worst form?
posted by nthdegx on Sep 14, 2002 - 75 comments

This week, two boys in Florida were tried for the bludgeoning-murder of their father. With accusations raised of the actual killing to have been done by another, adult male with alleged sexual ties to the two boys, the boys were found guilty only of a lesser second-degree murder charge, claiming the adult must have done the actual deed... yet the jury was unaware the adult accused and being tried for that very idea was acquitted of all charges the previous week. The issue? Both trials were handled by the same prosecutor who presented completely different theories to each jury... in other words, not settling on a confident belief of who actually performed the killing, the prosecution tried to get both the adult and the pair of boys convicted for it. Isn't that risky? Or, if you like a different flavor of debate, isn't that completely unethical?
posted by XQUZYPHYR on Sep 7, 2002 - 40 comments

Greece bans gaming.

Greece bans gaming. Apparently since the law was passed last month, video arcades (other than registered casinos, of course) have been raided and closed down rapidly now. I found no evidence of a hoax, but a Slashdot post links to this NY Times article from March about the pending legislation. (Translations of the law to English can be found here as well.) This seems legit: if so, wtf is the host of the next Olympics doing banning people from playing games?
posted by XQUZYPHYR on Sep 1, 2002 - 24 comments

Three Supreme Court Justices publicy oppose executing teenage criminals.

Three Supreme Court Justices publicy oppose executing teenage criminals. In a rare move, Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, and Stevens made a public statement in a delay request to state their opposition to executing someone who committed murder before the age of 18. With the Court already banning the execution of the mentally retarded this year, is this another sign of a soon-to-be next step in the abolishment of the death penalty? Or does the average American still believe that regardless of what time, when you do the crime you walk the line?
posted by XQUZYPHYR on Aug 30, 2002 - 49 comments

An All-American Fugitive

An All-American Fugitive When Margo Freshwater escaped from prison 32 years ago, she began a happy and law-abiding life, becoming a devoted mother, grandmother and wife. Now she's back behind bars . . . And unless she's given a new trial or is granted clemency . . . she will remain behind bars until she is an old woman . . . Meanwhile, the man who confessed to the killing probably will die a free man.
posted by mikrophon on Aug 22, 2002 - 5 comments

Comic book retailer sentenced to jail for selling a book to an adult

Comic book retailer sentenced to jail for selling a book to an adult The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund's lawyers are filing an appeal in the highest criminal court in Texas in the obscenity conviction of Jesus Castillo, manager of a Dallas comic book store. Castillo has received six months jail time, a year probation, and a $4000 fine. [more inside]
posted by dejah420 on Aug 21, 2002 - 36 comments

This new RIAA lawsuit

This new RIAA lawsuit really frosts my cookies! I can't believe the Recording Industry Ass. of America has the balls to think they can censor the Internet, but they contend that "As a matter of fact, copyright itself was written into the Constitution before the Framers ever even got to the first 10 amendments." Therefore, the RIAA reserves for itself the right to determine which Internet websites you may view. Please discuss.
posted by Maxor on Aug 17, 2002 - 71 comments

Over-aggressive trademark enforcers "advised to chill".

Over-aggressive trademark enforcers "advised to chill". Tommy Hilfiger's trademark is not infringed by Timmy Holedigger perfume for dogs. Perhaps this can be used as precedent in responding to silly cease and desist letters.
posted by kcmoryan on Aug 14, 2002 - 12 comments

Nevada looking to legalize marijuana. And not just for medicinal use, but for recreational use as well. So far, it looks like there's a good chance it might happen.
posted by triggerfinger on Aug 14, 2002 - 34 comments

Women who put babies up for adoption required to publish sexual pasts

Women who put babies up for adoption required to publish sexual pasts Web sites can't collect info on minors, but Florida wants all women, including minors, to publish their sexual history in local newspapers before they're allowed to give their child up for adoption. Abortions are difficult to get in Florida, almost impossible for some minors because of parental notification and permission requirements, yet wouldn't this law push more women towards abortion rather than towards adoption?
posted by dejah420 on Aug 7, 2002 - 83 comments

Right. Let me get this straight. A security guard found a handbag unattended in a night club. He then searched the bag, supposedly looking for ID, and found a small packet containing a white powdery substance, which he handed over to the Central Narcotics Bureau. A woman, Ms. Low, later says the handbag belongs to her. The Judge notes that "There was no denial that this was her handbag. She claimed it was hers." Ms. Low's friend, after being offered immunity from prosecution, then says they both snorted cocaine earlier on in the evening. On the basis of the evidence presented, Ms. Low is sentenced to 18 months in prison.
posted by netsirk on Aug 6, 2002 - 46 comments

Cops Abuse New Anti-Terror Law.

Cops Abuse New Anti-Terror Law. The raid was perhaps the state's first known instance of law enforcement officers using new anti-terrorism police powers in a case unrelated to terrorism... Ahh, yes. The War On Drugs meets The War Against Terror.
posted by fnord_prefect on Aug 5, 2002 - 13 comments

Drop the marker and back away from the CD-RW drive.

Drop the marker and back away from the CD-RW drive. Add Senator Joe Biden (D - Delware) to the list of politicians eager to put the brakes on technology, kowtow to Hollywood and otherwise stop the Earth from turning: Biden's new bill would make it a federal felony to try and trick certain types of devices into playing your music or running your computer program. Breaking this law--even if it's to share music by your own garage band--could land you in prison for up to five years. And that's not counting the civil penalties of up to $25,000 per offense. Biden's bill is on the fast track and not getting the same press attention that Sen. Holling's CBDTPA bill had earlier this year.
posted by scottandrew on Jul 29, 2002 - 28 comments

The catch-22 of prison therapy.

The catch-22 of prison therapy. The biggest criticism of sex offender justice is that imprisonment does not mean rehabilitation. In Massachusetts because of stringent anti-sex offender laws, lawyers are advising their clients to turn down prison therapy because it will be used against them. Even used against them after they're done with their sentence. These are serious violations of double jeopardy and doctor patient privilege.
posted by skallas on Jul 28, 2002 - 9 comments

House likely to approve homeland security bill that erodes labor protections

House likely to approve homeland security bill that erodes labor protections "But the Senate, which likely takes up the matter next week, so far has pursued a much different course. On Thursday, the Democratic-led Senate Governmental Affairs Committee crafted legislation that would protect all current civil service protections and make it more difficult for the president to move workers out of unions. Bush and other Republicans said the measure would give the president less authority than he has now."

The House seems to be so much more conservative and extremist than the Senate. Heck they're still working on trying to ban selected types of abortion procedures even when there's a strong chance it won't pass constitutional muster and the Senate isn't likely to support them.

Is it your perception that the House is more conservative? If so, why do you think that's true?
posted by Red58 on Jul 26, 2002 - 19 comments

"If this were a sci-fi melodrama, it might be called Speech-Zilla meets Trademark Kong. ... The parties are advised to chill." (PDF file)

"If this were a sci-fi melodrama, it might be called Speech-Zilla meets Trademark Kong. ... The parties are advised to chill." (PDF file) The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit is at it again. Aqua's hit song "Barbie Girl" is judged not to be a violation of Mattel's trademark, but to be a parody protected by free speech. And all laboured judgely joshing aside, the decision offers a nice summary of trademark law. Get a plain HTML news story from CNN here. (The chorus is running through your brain now, right? And it's going to be there all day, too. *snicker*)
posted by maudlin on Jul 25, 2002 - 5 comments

Smoke pot, stay out of jail.

Smoke pot, stay out of jail. As your lawyer, I advise you to read this cartoon by Ellen Forney. See also: Bustcard.
posted by xowie on Jul 24, 2002 - 23 comments

Ebay. The place to go for collectors...of evidence.
posted by anathema on Jul 22, 2002 - 1 comment

Welcome to Amerika?

Welcome to Amerika? Tom Ridge (with the blessing of George W.) thinks it's time to re-examine the Posse Comitatus Act with an eye toward giving the Armed Forces more power to act in a domestic law enforcement capacity. After having the National Guard here during the Winter Olympics, I'm not so keen on seeing armed soldiers patrolling the streets again.
posted by mr_crash_davis on Jul 21, 2002 - 25 comments

John Ashcroft: activist attorney.

John Ashcroft: activist attorney. Long and revealing article about Ashcroft's "my morals and religious beliefs first and law second" political history.
posted by skallas on Jul 16, 2002 - 12 comments

This is some scary stuff. Life in prison for malicious hacking? We can't keep rapists and murderers away from society for very long but now hackers & crackers could be jailed for life? And on top of that the FBI can monitor internet packets without a warrant? If you enjoy your freedom from gov't surveillance, it looks like it's time to start using PGP.
posted by mathowie on Jul 16, 2002 - 21 comments

The city of Enoch, Utah, population 3467, has an annual animal-control budget of $25,000. A budget this small means that Enoch's Animal Control must display some creativity when it comes to dealing with the problem of stray or unwanted animals. Mark Havnes of the Salt Lake Tribune describes Enoch's solution:

"No sterile lethal injections here. No pressurized bottles of toxic gas. Enoch attaches a hose to the back of a city-owned Dodge pickup and funnels lethal carbon monoxide into a shedlike death chamber. The unwanted, unadoptable critters then are placed inside...'We have no trouble sleeping at night,' says...the city's part-time animal-control officer... 'We can't see a darn thing wrong with what we are doing."
posted by mr_crash_davis on Jul 14, 2002 - 4 comments

His name is Hussein al-Attas. He is 24 years old. Ten months ago, federal agents arrested him at the mosque where he worshipped and took him away.

His name is Hussein al-Attas. He is 24 years old. Ten months ago, federal agents arrested him at the mosque where he worshipped and took him away. He has been locked in solitary confinement ever since, his only companion a Spanish-speaking prisoner on the other side of the wall, to whom he speaks through the air-conditioning vent."

Deborah Hastings of the Associated Press tells us the story of The man who gave a ride to Zacarias Moussaoui, and his descent into indefinite federal detention.
posted by mr_crash_davis on Jul 13, 2002 - 16 comments

"A sad day for the United Nations."

"A sad day for the United Nations." When it comes to international law, there's one law for the USA and one law for the rest of the world. Disgusting.
posted by tranquileye on Jul 12, 2002 - 58 comments

Another Cat Killer Wins

Another Cat Killer Wins "As a property owner, you have a right to do as you please and you have the right to protect it" In Coeur d' Alene, ID, accused cat poisoner Dale Crooks Jr. is acquitted of feeding tuna mixed with antifreeze to the neighbor's cats. What seems most remarkable to me, though, is that everyone is calling the plaintiffs' lawyer a publicity seeker and the cats' owners troublemakers. There must be more to the story than is printed here. Either that, or small town dwellers in Idaho REALLY hate cats.
posted by faceonmars on Jul 12, 2002 - 36 comments

What the law show say about cloning.

What the law show say about cloning. Francis Fukuyama and Robert Wright, who have written about technology and "societal evolution", discuss the pros and cons of genetic engineering. This is not a discussion about the finer points of technology, but rather the philosophical implications of moving forward.
posted by mkultra on Jul 12, 2002 - 1 comment


Scalia gives divinity school students a peek at what his activism is really about. I can't say it any better than he does so I'll quote: "The reaction of people of faith to this tendency of democracy to obscure the divine authority behind government should not be resignation to it, but the resolution to combat it as effectively as possible." Of course we knew Scalia detested democracy on 12/12/2000 with his decision that infamous day but now he admits favoritism to theocracy.
posted by nofundy on Jul 10, 2002 - 42 comments

Judicial activism

Judicial activism rears it's ugly head. But it is disingenuous to claim that activism is the mantle of liberals. Can you say "strict constructionist?" I didn't think so.
posted by nofundy on Jul 8, 2002 - 11 comments

Student Acquited of Sex Assault - Defense: Sleepwalking.

Student Acquited of Sex Assault - Defense: Sleepwalking. Let the games begin.
posted by yhbc on Jul 8, 2002 - 28 comments

"I never had much confidence in the attention span of elected officials for any kind of deep thinking about important issues,"

"I never had much confidence in the attention span of elected officials for any kind of deep thinking about important issues," jabs Republican U.S. judge Alfred Goodwin in a feisty interview. He seems unfazed by the outraged reaction to his ban on government teachers leading a theistic "pledge of allegiance," ripping into the press "("Their attention span can't handle anything more than a haiku of about four lines"), the President ("I'm a little disappointed in our chief executive -- who nobody ever accused of being a deep thinker -- for popping off") and "this wrap-yourself-in-the-flag frenzy." I'm starting to see why he's "among the best-liked jurists on the 9th Circuit bench, always affable and gracious." [from cursor.org]
posted by mediareport on Jul 6, 2002 - 33 comments

Nat Hentoff tells the story of the Northampton Bill of Rights Defense Committee, a grassroots group of citizens dedicated to defending the Bill of Rights "--not only against the USA Patriot Act but also against subsequent Presidential executive orders, and actions by John Ashcroft, that 'threaten key rights guaranteed to U.S. citizens and noncitizens by the Bill of Rights and the Massachusetts Constitution.'". Visit their Web site to find out what you can do to help, including signing the Petition to Repeal the Patriot Act.
posted by mr_crash_davis on Jul 4, 2002 - 3 comments

Sneering at President John Adams as "querulous, Bald, blind, crippled, Toothless Adams"

Sneering at President John Adams as "querulous, Bald, blind, crippled, Toothless Adams" got Ben Franklin's grandson arrested under the Sedition Act of 1798. Federalists like Adams and Alexander Hamilton used the Sedition Act to muzzle highly aggressive elements of the press. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison fought back -- and won. Understanding this early power grab by the U.S. executive branch helps put recent events into historical context. The struggle itself has been part of the United States of America since the beginning, and anyone working to fight Cheney and Ashcroft's unconstitutional assault happens to be in pretty good company. Happy Fourth of July.
posted by mediareport on Jul 3, 2002 - 13 comments

Ah, the law in Florida. (NYT)

Ah, the law in Florida. (NYT) The rich princess pushed her maid down a flight of stairs, but will be allowed to plead no contest to a misdemeanor charge of battery without having to appear in court, pay a $1,000 fine and give a judge a letter of regret about injuries to her Indonesian maid in the incident. All this because the maid cannot be in court. After she went home to Jakarta in May for her mother's funeral, the United States Embassy there denied her a visa to return to Florida and testify on the grounds that she might try to stay in this country illegally. The maid is also the primary witness in a federal investigation of the princess for possibly employing Ms. Soryono under conditions of involuntary servitude, the Justice Department said. After the court hearing in Orlando, this federal investigation appears likely to end without charges.
posted by semmi on Jul 2, 2002 - 4 comments

On July 8, watch your newspaper for a picture of a little girl sleeping under a blanket imprinted with an image of the U.S. Constitution, with the caption: "Security Blanket." It's the first installment in a 13-month, $2.5 million advertising campaign by the American Bar Association to promote the Constitution in a time of terror and get people talking about security and democracy. After all, ads sell. And why shouldn't the lawyers pay for a bit of Constitutional image rebuilding? Without that stained, dog-eared, pissed on, misread, half-shredded little 'ol document, they'd be out of jobs.
posted by jellybuzz on Jul 2, 2002 - 26 comments

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