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More Judges Say DOMA Unconstitutional

Today, Judge Donovan of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California in Los Angeles ruled [link is to pdf of decision] that DOMA is unconstitutional. 19 judges join his opinion. [more inside]
posted by insectosaurus on Jun 13, 2011 - 35 comments

Support Telepath Local 153

The Washington Post asks: Can Mutants And Humans Really Co-Exist? Metafilter's own Mightygodking responds.
posted by The Whelk on Jun 10, 2011 - 80 comments

I will not Tweet indiscriminately. I will not Tweet indiscriminately. I will not Tweet indiscriminately. I will not...

Malaysian performer and social activist Fahmi Fadzil was sued for defamation by media company Blu Inc after a Tweet in January alleging that the company maltreated a pregnant friend who was an employee. His punishment? To tweet 100 times over 3 days:
I've DEFAMED Blu Inc Media & Female Magazine. My tweets on their HR Policies are untrue. I retract those words & hereby apologize.
Responses from other Malaysian Twitter users, mostly on Fahmi's side, have been interesting.
posted by divabat on Jun 2, 2011 - 38 comments

The curious case of the Amazonian Chernobyl

An Ecuadoran court has issued a landmark $8bn judgement against Chevron Corporation. [more inside]
posted by clarknova on May 27, 2011 - 40 comments

High-Stakes Seismology

In a chilling development, six Italian scientists (and one government official) are facing manslaughter charges for failing to predict the April 6, 2009 earthquake that killed 309 people.
posted by Betelgeuse on May 27, 2011 - 45 comments

Canuck court claims consciousness-less consent clearly crap.

The Supreme Court of Canada ruled today, in a 6-3 decision, that a person cannot give advance consent to sexual activity while unconscious. [more inside]
posted by greatgefilte on May 27, 2011 - 109 comments

"Mommy tracked" and loving it?

In-sourcing the legal business: America's biggest law firms are "creating a second tier of workers, stripping pay and prestige from one of the most coveted jobs in the business world." [more inside]
posted by kanuck on May 24, 2011 - 76 comments

Bubbles and Public Facts

The Destruction of Economic Facts - "Renowned Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto argues that the financial crisis wasn't just about finance—it was about a staggering lack of knowledge" (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on May 23, 2011 - 35 comments

Vermont, Single-Payer in the USA?

With the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act being argued in lower courts, it's probably also worth looking at Vermont's adoption of single-payer health care: "On May 26, Gov. Peter Shumlin of Vermont is expected to sign legislation that will create universal coverage in the state—eventually. Vermont will use subsidies from the Affordable Care Act to help create a Canada-style system. And its system, or so the theory goes, will become so popular and cheap that the rest of America will want to copy it." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on May 16, 2011 - 51 comments

"I Will Never Plea-Bargain With The Truth."

The Secret Sharer: Is Thomas Drake an Enemy of the State? [more inside]
posted by zarq on May 16, 2011 - 25 comments

Every one a little lawyer.

“Watching the video I thought that it was wise of Major League Baseball to combine this sort of sentimental moment with mass speculative litigation. It kept brand values strong. I felt strangely grateful that I could have a moment to remember that afternoon. Surprised by the evidence of both copyright violation and father-daughter affection.” —Paul Ford, “Nanolaw with Daughter” [more inside]
posted by kipmanley on May 15, 2011 - 26 comments

Florida's Bestiality Law May Have Accidentally Outlawed Sex Entirely

If you have had sex in Florida in the last week, technically, you broke the law. Due to some unfortunate wording, Florida's new bestiality law technically outlawed sex between two animals.

"An act relating to sexual activities involving animals; creating s. 828.126, F.S.; providing definitions; prohibiting knowing sexual conduct or sexual contact with an animal; prohibiting specified related activities; providing penalties; providing that the act does not apply to certain husbandry, conformation judging, and veterinary practices; providing an effective date."
posted by Leisure_Muffin on May 13, 2011 - 88 comments

Britain's Got The Next Terri Schiavo

British "super-injunctions" goes one step further: "A High Court judge has issued an injunction which bans publication of information on Twitter and Facebook." [more inside]
posted by iviken on May 13, 2011 - 29 comments

Let's find as many suckers as we can as fast as we can, because we'll only make more money as more and more shit hits the fan.

The People vs. Goldman Sachs. Matt Taibbi's latest magnum opus (previous coverage) lays out the full case for federal prosecutions against the Vampire Squid according to Sen. Carl Levin's Senate Subcommittee on Investigations. [Wall Street and the Financial Crisis: Anatomy of a Financial Collapse 650 page pdf].
posted by T.D. Strange on May 11, 2011 - 176 comments

Now You See It, Now You Don't

Homeowners are using a little known loophole in the bankruptcy laws to shed their second mortgages.
posted by reenum on May 9, 2011 - 42 comments

"Discrimination generates hatred"

Brazil's supreme court recognises same sex unions. The Brazilian Supreme Court voted 10-0 (one abstention) yesterday to recognise same-sex civil unions as of equal legal validity to marriage/ with "stable" same-sex couples now able to gain certificates that allow access to equal legal rights. "Discrimination generates hatred," said Justice Carlos Ayres Britto, who wrote the ruling. [more inside]
posted by jaduncan on May 8, 2011 - 42 comments

What is the meaning of the assassination of OBL?

Guy Rundle teases out the meanings of the bin Laden assassination, in contrast to the Eichmann trial.
posted by wilful on May 5, 2011 - 93 comments

All Cannabis Use Is Medical

A 35 minute conversation on medical marijuana with Michael Backes.
posted by gman on May 3, 2011 - 19 comments

'These children don’t recognize the flags of their home countries, but they can all sing "Jesus Loves Me."'

The Evangelical Adoption Crusade [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 28, 2011 - 137 comments

No Marriage Until Gay Marriage Is Legal

The Douglass Blvd. Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky has voted to stop signing marriage licenses until gay marriage is legalized by the state.
posted by reenum on Apr 25, 2011 - 87 comments

Unfit counsel

"This conflict of interest hits at the heart of the attorney-client relationship." Robert Caulley has served 14 years of a life sentence for the murder of his parents, a crime he says he didn't commit. Some hope that unknown DNA found on a gun at the crime scene will prove his innocence, citing similar exonerations in other high-profile Ohio cases, but so far Caulley's attempts to revisit his case with further DNA testing have failed. But look, Caulley already had his day in court with his lawyer by his side, doing everything possible to clear him, right? So he thought -- until he learned that his defense attorney was sleeping with his wife during his trial.
posted by escabeche on Apr 21, 2011 - 20 comments

Iowa loophole voids mortgage

Matt and Jamie Danielson, with the aid of their bankruptcy attorney, were able to use a little known loophole in the Iowa law to void their mortgage and own their house outright after making just one payment. However, further investigation has uncovered some unsavory events in the couple's past.
posted by reenum on Apr 21, 2011 - 60 comments

A Fatwa Against Pets

The Latest Enemies of Iran: Dogs and Their Owners [more inside]
posted by PepperMax on Apr 19, 2011 - 34 comments

The Zoopreme Court is much cuter than the Supreme Court

Zoopreme Court Ever wanted to remember all the justices of the Supreme Court, past and present? Well it's a whole lot easier if they are animals. Dan Schofield and Alice DuBois are illustrating all 112 justices as various critters, as well as several landmark cases.
posted by melissam on Apr 14, 2011 - 17 comments

Supreme Court: Suppressing fruit since 1920

Fruit of the poisonous tree is a legal term used to describe illegally gained evidence. The logic of the terminology is that if the source of the evidence is tainted, then anything gained from it is as well.

For the uninitiated, such terms used as described make for odd introductions to supreme court arguments (PDF warning) [more inside]
posted by AndrewKemendo on Apr 13, 2011 - 26 comments

The Brisk, Shady Sale of ‘Loosies’

With the crackdown on smoking and higher cigarette taxes in New York City, people who sell individual cigarettes, also known as loosies, are rapidly gaining new customers.
posted by reenum on Apr 5, 2011 - 69 comments

It's raining bytes

As Amazon and the RIAA go head to head over the Amazon Cloud Player (esentially Dropbox with streaming) it seems like a good time to recap the turbulent history of the humble MP3, upender of the music industry business model.
posted by Artw on Apr 4, 2011 - 83 comments

Muzzle the Defense

The chances that a powerful person will make an error are much greater than those of a weak person. Scott Horton translates Benjamin Constant, references Robespierre, and offers insight on modern efforts to preclude meaningful trials in federal court. [more inside]
posted by fartknocker on Apr 2, 2011 - 20 comments

Officer Bubbles!

Constable Adam Josephs of the Toronto Police is now known across the internet as "Officer Bubbles" for his questionable shenanigans during the recent G20 summit protests. He is now suing YouTube for hosting videos related to in incident.
posted by long haired child on Apr 1, 2011 - 42 comments

Judge Amanda Williams's Very Bad Week

Ira Glass does an atypical bit of investigative reporting about an especially punitive drug court in rural Georgia. [more inside]
posted by jon1270 on Mar 31, 2011 - 106 comments

Constitutional Crisis in Curdistan

There is a constitutional crisis in Cheeseland. If you haven't been paying attention, WI governor Scott Walker and the Republican controlled Senate and Assembly passed a controversial bill and signed it. [more inside]
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt on Mar 30, 2011 - 377 comments

Conviction

Betty Anne Waters's brother Kenny was sent to prison for first degree murder and armed robbery in 1982. Over the next 16 years, Betty Anne got her GED, college degree, and law degree, all in an effort to prove Kenny was innocent. With the assistance of the Innocence Project, Betty Anne was able to use DNA evidence to show Kenny was innocent. [more inside]
posted by reenum on Mar 24, 2011 - 28 comments

Deal of the Century

How two American kids became big-time weapons traders - "Working with nothing but an Internet connection, a couple of cellphones and a steady supply of weed, the two friends — one with a few college credits, the other a high school dropout — had beaten out Fortune 500 giants like General Dynamics to score the huge arms contract. With a single deal, two stoners from Miami Beach had turned themselves into the least likely merchants of death in history." (via; previously on arms contractors)
posted by kliuless on Mar 21, 2011 - 69 comments

"If you feel stupid, it's not because I'm making you feel that way."

What is a photocopier? Ten pages of Ohio Supreme Court testimony where a Cuyahoga County, Ohio, office worker deliberately tries to muddy the waters in a deposition. Hilarity ensues. "If you don't know what that means in an office setting, please tell the court you don't know what it means in an office setting to have a photocopying machine."
posted by Cool Papa Bell on Mar 18, 2011 - 85 comments

ATF: Fast and Furious

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives deliberately allowed assault rifles to be smuggled into Mexico, so they could be tracked. The weapons were then used in a spree of murders, including that of US Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. The operation was called "Fast and Furious". The Mexican government was apparently unaware of the operation, and is investigating. The ATF is going to have a review of whether their strategy supports "the goals of ATF to stem the illegal flow of firearms to Mexico".
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Mar 7, 2011 - 66 comments

Jury nullification advocate accused of jury tampering

Scott Horton at Harpers.org writes about Julian P. Heicklen, a 78-year-old retired chemistry professor from New Jersey, now faces federal criminal charges for informing people entering the federal courthouse about the doctrine of jury nullification. Scott Horton's post is a response to the New York Times column on Mr. Heicklen. [more inside]
posted by fartknocker on Mar 1, 2011 - 102 comments

"a travesty of reality"

UK respite and foster parents may no longer be homophobic, even when it is due to religious belief. An English Christian couple acting as foster parents have been banned from further placements due to their statement that they could not tell children that homosexual relationships were of equal value, with judges stating that their claims that adoption should still be allowed as a "a travesty of reality". Reaction from the UK religious right (such as it is) is venomous. [more inside]
posted by jaduncan on Feb 28, 2011 - 59 comments

Assange to be extradited

Julian Assange is to be extradited to Sweden, with fairly immediate effect. [more inside]
posted by jaduncan on Feb 24, 2011 - 247 comments

Don't shake the baby.

Shaken-Baby Syndrome Faces New Questions in Court. Earlier this month, the UK Crown Prosecution Service issued a guidance on "shaken baby" allegations. Emily Bazelon looks at the medical and legal gray areas in US prosecutions in this week's New York Times Magazine. An editorial last fall by law professor Deborah Turkheimer here touched on her own research into the issue [PDF], which she calls "the next Innocence Project;" it was met with some controversy by medical professionals.
posted by availablelight on Feb 3, 2011 - 24 comments

CH-CHUNG

Law and Order conviction rate vs. New York City crime rate
posted by docgonzo on Feb 3, 2011 - 56 comments

I was worried there for a second.

Today a California appeals court ruled that free online porn is not unfair competition to pay sites.
posted by Faint of Butt on Feb 2, 2011 - 73 comments

"An Act To Declare That Reality Is Now The Plot Of Mad Max"

South Dakota Rep. Hal Wick (R-Sioux Falls), is sponsoring a bill [text] which would require all citizens to buy a firearm “sufficient to provide for their ordinary self-defense” within six months of turning age 21. Rep. Wick said he is introducing the bill to prove a point that the federal health care reform mandate passed last year is unconstitutional. [previously] [more inside]
posted by T.D. Strange on Feb 1, 2011 - 146 comments

Vermont Challenging Corporate Personhood

One year after the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision, which, overturning over 100 years of precedent, opened a floodgate of corporate money into election campaigns, Virginia Lyons (D-VT), has introduced legislation (full text of bill not yet available, articles here and here) in the Vermont State Senate to amend the United States Constitution to explicitly state that corporations are not persons. This would overturn the controversial notion of corporate personhood which was established in the 1800s. Controversial not only for the unequal distribution of rights and responsibilities among humans and corporations, some, like Thom Hartmann (previously), have claimed that the notion of corporate personhood was established as an intentional misinterpretation of the decision as recorded by court reporter J.C. Bancroft Davis, former president of the Newburgh & New York Railway Co. [more inside]
posted by laminarial on Jan 24, 2011 - 102 comments

Marriage Commissioners must wed same-sex couples

Right before the 10th anniversary of the first same-sex marriage in Canada, Saskatchewan's highest court has ruled that a proposed law allowing provincial marriage commissioners to refuse to wed same-sex couples is unconstitutional. Thecourt.ca gives its thoughts on the decision and the social context surrounding it.
posted by Lemurrhea on Jan 19, 2011 - 40 comments

Th Kingdom in the Closet

Even though it's punishable by death, homosexuality thrives in Saudi Arabia.
posted by reenum on Jan 9, 2011 - 39 comments

United States v. Tiede

On August 30, 1978 a Polish airliner was hijacked and redirected to Tempelhof airport in West Berlin. Torn between a policy of supporting defection and a recently-signed anti-hijacking treaty, the West German government ceded jurisdiction over the defendants to the United States government, which was still technically an occupying power and had an interest in the case because of the US Air Force Base at Tempelhof. The result was the one and only decision rendered by the United States Court for Berlin, United States v. Tiede. [more inside]
posted by jedicus on Jan 7, 2011 - 13 comments

The Looming Cable Monopoly

Law professor Susan Crawford takes a moment to explain to all of us why we should be wary of Verizon's decision to suspend FiOS rollout across the country and the resulting likely domination of the high-speed internet access biz by the cable companies in a short (for a legal journal) paper in the Yale Law and Policy Review. [more inside]
posted by Inkoate on Jan 4, 2011 - 55 comments

The 25-Year 'Foreclosure From Hell'

Patsy Campbell has been fighting her foreclosure in Florida courts for the past 25 years. She has not made a mortgage payment since 1985 while foiling the efforts of several banks to evict her from her home in Okeechobee, Florida.
posted by reenum on Dec 30, 2010 - 150 comments

The Loophole Artist

Jonathan Blattmachr, one of the country's leading estates and trusts experts, feels that helping his clients reduce their tax liability helps the IRS close loopholes that he and his colleagues use. As with most attorneys, there are some clients who weren't happy with his work, but Mr. Blattmachr pushes on with his efforts.
posted by reenum on Dec 29, 2010 - 18 comments

Los Angeles Times - Sotomayor, Kagan - David G. Savage

Sotomayor, Kagan shift Supreme Court debates to the left. The liberal wing is no longer drowned out by Scalia and his fellow conservatives during oral arguments.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Dec 27, 2010 - 35 comments

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