In Conversation: Antonin Scalia "On the eve of a new Supreme Court session, the firebrand justice discusses gay rights and media echo chambers, Seinfeld and the Devil, and how much he cares about his intellectual legacy ("I don’t")." [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Oct 6, 2013 -
Crimes of Necessity
On Oct. 14 2008 the B.C. Supreme Court handed down a landmark decision
declaring that, due to the lack of adequate homeless shelters, it was unconstitutional for the City of Victoria to prevent homeless individuals from erecting temporary structures for protection from the elements. The ruling culminates a multi-year campaign by David Arthur Johnston
to establish the "right to sleep". As the decision is based on an interpretation of Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms
, the ruling applies to every municipality in Canada. In the wake of the decision, Victoria City Council passed a resolution which stipulates that such shelters must be removed by 7:00 each morning
. [more inside]
posted by dinsdale
on Oct 26, 2008 -
These are the documents that started it all. The Charters of Freedom.
As the USA celebrates another Independence Day, the National Archives presents the historical development of the Declaration, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, and their impact upon the nation and the world.
posted by netbros
on Jul 4, 2008 -
A Magistrate Judge in the U.S. District Court in Vermont has ruled that a man allegedly caught with child pornography on his laptop need not reveal his PGP password (yes, authorities shut down the laptop and now can't get at the alleged porn) pursuant to the Fifth Amendment's protections against self incrimination. The decision is here
[PDF]. A decent write-up (from CNET of all places) is here
. This appears to be the first decision ever to directly address this issue, and many commentators had thought it would come out differently. The major question is whether revealing one's PGP key is "testimonial" or not. According to the Supreme Court
, giving up fingerprints or blood samples isn't, nor is standing for a lineup, nor is handing over the key to a safe, but if it's combination
safe, well maybe that's different
. Never let it be said that your Fifth Amendment rights are easy.
posted by The Bellman
on Dec 15, 2007 -
The First Freedom Project
--new from the Dept of Justice, announced at the Southern Baptist Convention
along with a call for their help---specifically and only to protect the religious from discrimination against them. Many are not impressed: The administration has often ignored the importance of the no establishment principle by supporting attempts of governments to endorse a religious message, using tax dollars to fund pervasively religious organizations, allowing religious discrimination in hiring for federally funded projects, ...
Legal strategies and actions from groups like the Alliance Defense Fund
are now official DOJ policy, it appears. ...In his statement, Gonzales mentioned several cases litigated by ADF and its allies ...
posted by amberglow
on Feb 23, 2007 -
"Drove my Chevy to the levee..."?
That's a lawsuit. "Pass the Courvoisier"? Yup. Lawsuit too. Artwork using Barbie Dolls? Lawsuit again... It's all part of the Trademark Dilution Revision Act
, which would eliminate the non-commercial "fair use" protections of trademarks in art, literature, and speech-- To amend the Trademark Act of 1946 with respect to dilution by blurring or tarnishment.
It goes to the Senate Judiciary Committee on the 16th, and there's a large roster of groups fighting it, including the American Library Association, EFF, and more, saying that consumers as well as artists would be preventing from exercising their free speech rights unless it's amended.
posted by amberglow
on Feb 3, 2006 -
A explicit Right to Privacy Amendment?
Dan Savage asks: why can't we have one?--...Here we are, decades after Griswold, and social conservatives and liberals are constantly arguing about whether or not the right to privacy, which is a popular right (naturally enough), and one to which most Americans believe they're entitled, is actually a right to which Americans are entitled, constitutionally-speaking. ...
It affects all aspects of our lives-- from sexuality to procreation to speech to property to employment to housing, so isn't it time?
Europe has one, in the European Convention on Human Rights : Article 8-the right to respect for private and family life, home and correspondence. ...Article 8 offers general protection for a person’s private and family life, home and correspondence from arbitrary interference by the State. This right affects a large number of areas of life ranging from surveillance to sexual identity - it is framed extremely broadly. However, the right to respect for these aspects of privacy under Article 8 is qualified. ...
posted by amberglow
on Nov 3, 2005 -
..I would like to convey the message that our system works. We did not need to use a secret military tribunal, or detain the defendant indefinitely as an enemy combatant, or deny him the right to counsel, or invoke any proceedings beyond those guaranteed by or contrary to the United States Constitution. ...We can deal with the threats to our national security without denying the accused fundamental constitutional protections. ...
--U.S. Western District Judge John Coughenour, while sentencing "Millennium Bomber", Ahmed Ressam.
With 60 Terror Plots
foiled in the past 10 years, and pretty much none foiled due to the DHS and Patriot Act, it has to be asked-- Why isn't regular law enforcement and all the rest enough? (a little more inside)
posted by amberglow
on Jul 27, 2005 -
LossofPrivacyFilter: 1) Patriot Act Expansion Bill Approved in Secret
, which now provides a new ‘administrative subpoena’ authority (that) would let the FBI write and approve its own search orders for intelligence investigations, without prior judicial approval. ...Flying in the face of the Fourth Amendment, this power would let agents seize personal records from medical facilities, libraries, hotels, gun dealers, banks and any other businesses without any specific facts connecting those records to any criminal activity or a foreign agent. ...
and from the Justice Department: 2) Most health care employees can't be prosecuted for stealing personal data,
and finally, 3) Citibank admits losing 4 million customer files.
These 3 examples all within the past few days--any others i missed?
posted by amberglow
on Jun 8, 2005 -
So, what now?
He's an American citizen
who's spent 2½ years in custody - charged with no crime - without his lawer, access to due process, habeas corpus, etc.
He has no constitutional safeguards and can be held like that because the president says he can be held like that.
Who says the president has that power? The president does.
Could he have even made
a "dirty bomb?"
posted by Smedleyman
on Mar 2, 2005 -
Well, if the track record of straight marriages is any indication, this was bound to happen sooner or later. "Less than seven months after same-sex couples began tying the knot in Massachusetts, the state is seeing ts first gay divorces."
posted by livingsanctuary
on Dec 10, 2004 -
The Supreme Court
is currently hearing arguments about the constitutionality of homosexual sex. While this may not be news, just listening to some of the comments by the conservatives on the court can be a chilling experience, whether you are straight or gay.
Is it possible that there can be supreme court justices, supposedly the best of the best, who are really
posted by eas98
on Mar 27, 2003 -
“A nation is little more and nothing less than a conversation. [T]he conversation that is the United States has continued for more than 200 years as a lover's quarrel between equality and justice.” A gallery of ways this “conversation” is still taking place in the ways we live the Constitution’s 27 Amendments
posted by arco
on Nov 27, 2002 -