Today, June 28, 2010, marks the last day of the 2009-10 session of the Supreme Court of the United States. This day will mark a number of historical events
, not only in terms of the cases to be handed down. [more inside]
posted by valkyryn
on Jun 28, 2010 -
is a Spanish judge known for his cases on human right abuses by south american dictatorships under international law, specially the case
against Augusto Pinochet. Now, after admitting a case against abuses during Franco's Era, he is facing accusations by extreme right groups
of deliberately ignoring the Amnesty Law of 1977, possibly questionable under the same universal jurisdiction that gained him international renown. In a controversial decision, the case has been admitted
by the Spanish Supreme Court, and so Garzón is facing the possibility of up to 20 years of suspension. [more inside]
posted by valdesm
on Apr 14, 2010 -
Dallas police were skeptical at first, nicknaming the program "Hug-a-Ho."
Two years later, the STAR Court
("strengthening, transition and recovery") is attracting attention from agencies and researchers nationwide, for its innovative approach to prostitute diversion.
"It's absolutely apparent when you work with these women that they're struggling with incredible issues of domestic violence, substance abuse, sexual violence. We want to help these women change their lives, and if we want to change what's happening, we have to change our approach."
posted by pineapple
on Jan 28, 2010 -
In an 8-1 ruling,
the Supreme Court ruled Thursday that school officials violated an Arizona teenager's rights by strip-searching her for prescription-strength ibuprofen, declaring that U.S. educators cannot force children to remove their clothing unless student safety is at risk. Clarence Thomas demurred
, suggesting that panties would become the new drug underground.
posted by dejah420
on Jun 25, 2009 -
NPR is reporting
that Supreme Court Justice David Souter
will retire at the end of the current Court term, pending the approval of a replacement to be appointed by President Obama. Appointed by President George H.W. Bush in 1990, Souter's replacement will presumably maintain the balance of ascribed "left-leaning" to "right-leaning" justices at 4-5, but will increase the number of justices on the bench appointed by a Democratic president to 3. At 69, Souter is in fact the youngest of the so-called "left-leaning" justices currently on the bench.
posted by XQUZYPHYR
on Apr 30, 2009 -
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 -
It's the first Monday in October and time for Supreme Court Justices to compare liberals, unfavorably, to the Ku Klux Klan. In his new memoir
, released on the first day of the Supreme Court's 2007 term, Justice Clarence Thomas writes that he grew up fearing the KKK, but now knows he had "been afraid of the wrong white people all along. My worst fears had come to pass not in Georgia but in Washington, D.C., where I was being pursued not by bigots in white robes but by left-wing zealots draped in flowing sanctimony. "
No small man, he also comments on Anita Hill's bad breath. Slate's spectacular legal columnist, Dahlia Lithwick, notes that "in the few hundred pages of his new book, Thomas has managed to undo years of effort by his colleagues to depoliticize the judicial branch."
As usual, only Jon Stewart
can make us laugh through the tears.
posted by The Bellman
on Oct 4, 2007 -
A very big day for the Supreme Court. In Morse v. Fredrick
, the Court ruled that a school could suspend a child for holding up a "Bong HiTs for Jesus" banner. (Previous post here
). In Hein v. Freedom from Religion
, the Court held that taxpayers lacked standing to challenged Faith Based Initiatives (previous discussions
). In Wilke v. Robbins
, the Court held that land owners do not have Bivens claims if the federal government harasses landowners for easements. In FEC v. Wisconsin Right to Life
, the Court held that the portion of the campaign finance law which had blackout periods before elections on issue advocacy advertising was an unconstitutional restriction of speech (other
). This Thursday, the Justices will deliver their last opinions of the term, including a death penalty case
and the school assignment cases
. (Opinions are .pdfs)
posted by dios
on Jun 25, 2007 -
Federal Appeals Court
opinion "We respectfully disagree and reach a different conclusion... Possession of a large sum of cash is 'strong evidence' of a connection to drug activity."
Even if no evidence of a drug related crime is provided, you are guilty until proven innocent. BTW, they wont return the money.
posted by IronWolve
on Aug 20, 2006 -
Bradshaw v. Unity Marine Corp., Inc. (147 F.Supp.2d 668) "Both attorneys have obviously entered into a secret pact--complete with hats, handshakes and cryptic words--to draft their pleadings entirely in crayon on the back sides of gravy-stained paper place mats, in the hope that the Court would be so charmed by their child-like efforts that their utter dearth of legal authorities in their briefing would go unnoticed. Whatever actually occurred, the Court is now faced with the daunting task of deciphering their submissions. With Big Chief tablet readied, thick black pencil in hand, and a devil-may-care laugh in the face of death, life on the razor's edge sense of exhilaration, the Court begins."
posted by Kat Allison
on Jul 14, 2006 -
Today SCOTUS will hear a case
to decide the scope of what can and cannot be patented. At the heart of this case
lies the decision about whether a patent can validly include a step of ‘correlating a test result’ that arguably monopolises a basic scientific relationship used in medical treatment ‘such that any doctor necessarily infringes the patent merely by thinking about the relationship
after looking at a test result.’ If as expected the court uses this as an opportunity to reign in the scope of what can be patented this will surely be a victory for common sense.
posted by bap98189
on Mar 19, 2006 -
Online election results will be
available after the polls close in British Columbia at 7pm PST.
have been warned
not to post early results from the east before the polls close in British Columbia. CBC explains
It appears that US-hosted websites ProAlberta
and Captain's Quarters
will be wilfully violating the Canada Elections Act and posting early results. Andew Coyne
has suggested that posters to his website "[pretend] to report the results from some election in a foreign or imaginary land.
was fined $1000 for posting early results from the 2000 election and is currently appealing to the Supreme Court. Previously discussed here
posted by angrybeaver
on Jan 23, 2006 -
The End of Porn?
The Ashcroft/Gonzales Justice Department has made obscenity prosecutions a top priority
, with 60 prosecutions in the first four years of the Bush administration (compared to four for the entire eight years of the Clinton administration). Anti-porn advocates were dismayed in January when a federal judge in Pittsburgh, citing dicta on sexual liberty in the Supreme Court's Lawrence v. Texas
an indictment in a closely-watched case. Today, however, the Third Circuit reversed,
rejecting the defendant's arguments that (1) Lawrence
protected their liberty interest in distributing pornographic material, and (2) earlier Supreme Court obscenity precedent should be revisited in light of the increased prevalence of Internet transmission. The result, undoubtedly, will be a new wave of prosecutions not seen since the Supreme Court set limits on First-Amendment based protections in the 1970s.
posted by Saucy Intruder
on Dec 8, 2005 -
First they take Ugarte and then she walks in.
On the 9th of December 2005, Deborah Davis will be arraigned in U.S. District Court in a case that will determine whether people must show "papers" whenever police demand them. Unlike Dudley Hiibel
(discussed on mefi last year
) who had (arguably) caused a disturbance meriting police attention, Deb was just riding the bus when she was "welcomed" to the Denver Federal Center.
posted by Smedleyman
on Nov 25, 2005 -
Creationist author Michael Behe: "Astrology is a scientific theory".
If, that is, you use his definition of theory. Behe, you may recall, is the grand high poobah of "intelligent design", the theory that states that somebody (who totally
doesn't have to be God)
designed all life on Earth. It seems the latest iteration of the Scopes Monkey Trial isn't going so well for Mr. Behe. Even the courtroom audience is laughing at him.
posted by darukaru
on Oct 19, 2005 -
The Supreme Court's Big Day
The court chose not to review the controversy surrounding "reporter's privilege"
in withholding the names of confidential sources; meaning reporters may continue to be jailed or fined for refusing to name sources in court.
, the Court decided 6-3
that cable providers did not have to allow competitors to access their lines (the way DSL companies do). FCC opponents had been hopeful the Court would find the other way, opening new markets for competition and service options.
The Court ruled one of two
Ten Commandment displays are unconstitutional. The decalogue display on a courthouse wall in Kentucky was found 5-4
to be an unconstitutional endorsement of religion because it was serving a religious purpose. However, the Ten Commandments display on the grounds of Texas' state capitol were found to be constitutional.
The Court finally decided the MGM v Grokster case
. The Court found unanimously
that the file sharing service can be held liable
for the copyright infringement of their users.
posted by falconred
on Jun 27, 2005 -
Death sentence for online gamer SHANGHAI: A Shanghai online gamer who murdered another player because of a dispute over a "cyber-weapon" was given the death sentence with a two-year reprieve yesterday at Shanghai No 2 Intermediate People's Court.
Qiu Chengwei's death penalty will be commuted to life in prison if he behaves well in jail, and no other crimes relating to him are uncovered.
Not to condone the murder, but is cyber theft or isn't it? Acording to the DMCA if I download a song or movie from cyberspace I am commiting a crime. Yet if someone steals your item in a cyberworld and sells it for real world cash your left without recourse. I feel China had a chance to establish new law and balked. (more inside)
posted by Trik
on Jun 8, 2005 -
Meet the Landlord.
Mr. Bobby Veal, a class act guy, decides to harass and rape mothers living alone on Section 8. Oh, but it gets better, when they refused sex and began to complain, he'd evict them, change the locks and keep their furniture inside. Even after an eventual trial and conviction, what are the women doing now? Living in cars, furniture stolen by Mr. Veal and waiting for the court settlement that many believe will never come. Poverty ain't pretty.
posted by geoff.
on Dec 3, 2004 -
Only in 1967 did Loving v. Virginia
overturn vigorously-enforced laws against interracial marriage in these 15 states--Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia. Only in 1964 did the Civil Rights Act
overturn laws against equal access to voting, public accommodation, and public education. Only in 1963 did the Equal Pay Act
mandate that men and women be paid the same wage for the same work at the same job.
isn't a superhighway, leading us in straight lines toward utopia. We fall back
and we move forward
, but over the past fifty years, the United States has become considerably more inclusive and equality of access to opportunity has widened. Take a look at this article
from the Atlantic Monthly
in 1956--1956!--if you don't believe me.
posted by Sidhedevil
on Nov 4, 2004 -
After his defiant appearance in court, is it impossible for him to face a fair trial? Does anyone feel he deserves one after his actions?
posted by emc
on Jul 2, 2004 -