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The most exciting C-Span proceedings… ever?

C-SPAN airs Prop 8 appellate trial live. Prop 8 was the ballot measure that removed the right to marry from same-sex couples. Covered previously, previously, ZOMG PREVIOUSLY. Expect fun arguments about standing!
posted by klangklangston on Dec 6, 2010 - 139 comments

Plaintiff Paul Hupp's Petition for Rehearing

Plaintiff has news for these slime ball, piece of shit, ass clown judges. (pdf)
posted by Avenger50 on Oct 29, 2010 - 35 comments

The humor writing of Miles Kington

High court hangups and There's no place like a hotel are short humor pieces by Miles Kington featuring the Socratically uncooperative testimony of one Mr Chrysler who's accused of stealing 40,000 hangers from hotels. [more inside]
posted by LobsterMitten on Oct 1, 2010 - 9 comments

Judgement Day 2010

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 - 193 comments

Worst. Divorce. Ever.

A lawyer and her husband decide to get a divorce. Then, the lawyer loses her mind.
posted by reenum on Jun 10, 2010 - 131 comments

To remain silent, simply speak

In a 5-4 decision in the case of Berghuis v. Thompkins, the Supreme Court has ruled that suspects must explicitly assert their right to remain silent under the 1966 Miranda v. Arizona decision. [more inside]
posted by 0xFCAF on Jun 1, 2010 - 156 comments

“There is no federal constitutional right to same-sex marriage.”

Elena Kagan will be officially nominated to replace John Paul Stevens today, ending weeks of speculation and controversy as to who would replace the retiring Supreme Court Justice. Significant criticism has hounded Kagan throughout the nomination process, as she has never tried a case in court (much like Earl Warren). Many worry that her notable statements and writings do not provide a clear progressive record; some go so far as to claim she is Obama's Harriet Miers.
posted by mek on May 9, 2010 - 186 comments

Not a prophet in his own land

Baltasar Garzón 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 - 14 comments

Hug-a-Ho

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 - 35 comments

Jurors have a power so secret even they may not know about it.

Jury nullification, a situation in which jurors acquit in a criminal trial even if the facts favor conviction (often because the jurors disagree with the law), is of ancient provenance in the Anglo-American legal tradition. Courts are ambivalent towards it, regarding it both as quasi-illegal (they'll remove jurors if they catch them during the attempt) and as something that they cannot overturn once it happens. Nullification has furthered many causes, from anti-death-penalty to pro-southern-lynchings. Lawyers can't mention it in court on pain of contempt, but some hope to educate people in other ways.
posted by shivohum on Jan 22, 2010 - 79 comments

Has the Supreme Court Become Too Catholic

Has the Supreme Court become too Catholic?
posted by jefficator on Dec 10, 2009 - 123 comments

Privacy trumps idiocy...finally

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 - 62 comments

Souter to retire

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 - 113 comments

Law, Loneliness, Accomplishment and Courage

Maira Kalman, illustrator, author, artist, and designer, visited the United States Supreme Court. She recounts her experience and shares her reflections in this wonderfully illustrated blog.
posted by New Frontier on Apr 26, 2009 - 9 comments

The Jade Calendar

A Visitor's Guide to Hell - A translation of the Chinese version of what happens to the human soul after death [with some illustrations]. [more inside]
posted by tellurian on Feb 26, 2009 - 34 comments

Bitchy and Scratchy

A $10.00 scratch ticket + 2 buddies = $5,000,000.00 (minus lawyer fees). Day one in court. Day two.
posted by davebush on Feb 10, 2009 - 70 comments

Chemistry without those blasphemous isotopes!

In response to the 2005 lawsuit, ACSI v. Stearns, a federal court has upheld the decision of the University of California to deny college credit for science courses that utilize texts with a religious slant. Official statement from the UCOP (PDF).
posted by cgomez on Aug 13, 2008 - 67 comments

Life and death of a black and white

Texas executes Mexican national who was denied consul visit. [more inside]
posted by mrducts on Aug 6, 2008 - 121 comments

Under His Robes

U.S. 9th District Court of Appeals Chief Justice Alex Kozinski [wiki] is currently adjudicating a remarkably hardcore obscenity case.  He is currently facing his own obscenity case as well, having allowed public access to NSFW or illegal-for-minor-viewing material posted on his own vanity website, as reported in the LA Times.  Although he maintains that the material's posting was just innocent fun, he clearly knows his way around the internets.  Kozinski is a prolific and well-regarded essayist, and is occasionally mentioned as a potential Supreme Court nominee.
posted by rzklkng on Jun 11, 2008 - 96 comments

Pretty Good Pornography

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 - 57 comments

....nothing but the truth so help you yourself

A judge has issued a court summons for Lord Hanuman and Lord Ram, two Hindu gods, to settle a dispute over ownership of a temple. The initial summons were rejected due to an incomplete address, following which adverts were placed in the local press. [more inside]
posted by bap98189 on Dec 7, 2007 - 35 comments

Mandatory Binding Arbitration

NOTICE OF ARBITRATION AGREEMENT: [more inside]
posted by bigmusic on Nov 27, 2007 - 101 comments

Fear of a Left Planet

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 - 110 comments

No Pay for Lost Pants

A very big day for the District of Columbia Superior Court. In Pearson v. Soo Chung (pdf of opinion), Judge Judith Bartnoff ruled that Custom Cleaners is not liable to Roy L. Pearson for "various calculations of damages that go as high as $67 million" over "a pair of allegedly missing pants." The other shoe is yet to drop. Judge Bartnoff ruled that Pearson must pay the defendants' court costs and will consider forcing Pearson to pay the defendants' attorneys' fees. ( previously.)
posted by Slap Factory on Jun 25, 2007 - 55 comments

New Supreme Court Opinions

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 - 224 comments

You've all been so kind. Can I go now?

The first Gitmo trial has ended, but not before the defendant was stripped of two of his attorneys. Detainee #002 entered a guilty plea and will serve 9 months in an Australian prison. In return, he signed a statement stipulating that he had never been tortured or mistreated by the Americans -- despite previously reporting being beaten and deprived of sleep during his more than five years at the prison. The agreement bars him from suing the U.S. government for alleged abuse, forfeits any right to appeal, and imposes a gag order that prevents him speaking with news media for a year.
posted by sweet mister on Mar 31, 2007 - 90 comments

FREE ERIC VOLZ

Eric Volz, an American, is serving 30 years for a murder he did not commit. His DNA didn't match any of the evidence found at the crime scene, and there's plenty of very serious evidence showing that he didn't commit it (such as the fact that he was in a town two hours away while the murder was being done.) This needs as much media attention as possible. (First link is a Youtube video)
posted by premiumpolar on Mar 22, 2007 - 63 comments

His object all sublime / He will achieve in time

Court Decision, re: Fisher v. Lowe, Feb. 1999. Car ends up in man's yard. Man sues driver. Judge administers poetic justice. [via]
posted by Smart Dalek on Jan 30, 2007 - 40 comments

And the hell with the law.

New York Justice. Because every woman needs a good pounding every now and then.
posted by Tacos Are Pretty Great on Sep 26, 2006 - 106 comments

Federal Appeals Court: Driving With Money is a Crime.

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 - 103 comments

Best. Judicial. Ruling. EVER.

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 - 28 comments

Don't think citizen, you may have to pay royalties!

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 - 18 comments

Decision2006

Online election results will be available after the polls close in British Columbia at 7pm PST. Bloggers 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."

Paul Bryan was fined $1000 for posting early results from the 2000 election and is currently appealing to the Supreme Court. Previously discussed here and here.
posted by angrybeaver on Jan 23, 2006 - 126 comments

...respecting and defending the life and dignity of every human being...

Roe v. Wade, 33 years old today. With abortion back in the news due to the Supreme Court nomination of Alito, will the Ideological Rumble over the issue ever be settled or are we doomed to see questionable declarations like today's recognition of "National Sanctity of Human Life Day, 2006"? ...creating a society where every life has meaning...-- every life? Really?
posted by amberglow on Jan 22, 2006 - 200 comments

The End of Porn?

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 decision, dismissed 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 - 50 comments

[Ugarte gives exit visas to Rick for safe keeping]

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 - 35 comments

Astrology is scientific theory

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) created 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 - 62 comments

WTF!?

Kiss your son's belly button Spend six months in jail.
posted by delmoi on Jul 27, 2005 - 68 comments

Supreme Court Round-up for 6/27/05

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.
 
In Brand-X, 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 - 56 comments

Death sentence for online gamer

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 - 124 comments

Supreme Court outlaws medical marijuana.

Supreme Court outlaws medical marijuana.
posted by Mr_Zero on Jun 6, 2005 - 92 comments

blogging mgm vs. grokster

Blogging it Live from outside SCOTUS and MGM vs. Grokster, it's NickD.
posted by malaprohibita on Mar 28, 2005 - 16 comments

The Bible as sentencing reference tool

The Bible as sentencing device If the Constitution sanctions such direct reliance on religious sources when imposing criminal sentences, then there is nothing to stop prosecutors and criminal defense lawyers from regularly citing religious sources like the Bible, the Talmud, or the Koran to justify their respective positions on punishment.
posted by docpops on Mar 28, 2005 - 46 comments

Ten Commandments monuments are MOVIE PROMOS?

Apparently, thousands of Ten Commandments monuments around the country began their lives as promos for the 1956 movie "The Ten Commandments" (Including the one in the case argued before the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this month). "The stars of the movie, Charlton Heston, Yul Brynner and Martha Scott, attended many of the dedications." Transcripts of the March 2nd arguments here and here. This was also pointed out on the NPR radio comedy program "Wait, Wait - Don't Tell Me" (click the "Listen" link next to "Opening Panel Round: The Supreme Court and Cecil B. DeMille"). Does/should this affect your views on the case? Is this a minor detail, or is it an under-reported fact in the U.S. media? [via Monkeyfilter]
posted by spock on Mar 15, 2005 - 27 comments

God Save Us Nelly Queens

Now that we may be renaming the rebuilt eastern span [pdf] of the San Francisco - Oakland Bay Bridge after 19th century character (and sometime MeFi topic) Emperor Norton I, the question remains: when the time comes, what shall we name after his devoted widow? [cached last link]
posted by expialidocious on Dec 15, 2004 - 15 comments

Woman Hits Two Boys with SUV

Woman charged with running down boys who hit SUV with golf ball. Her family said this is completely unlike her, yet she told the judge this morning, "I'm mentally ill." Well, obviously, but does that mean she isn't accountable for three counts of attempted murder?
posted by Miss Beth on Dec 6, 2004 - 36 comments

men in power + women in need = bad

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 - 61 comments

An online history of jurisprudence, and lack thereof

Sacco and Vanzetti et al. The amazing Famous Trials website, compiled as a labor of love by University of Missouri law professor Douglas Linder, is a motherlode of information on historically significant trails, ranging from Galileo to the Amistad to Lenny Bruce. It features not only official transcripts, but also equally intriguing details such as a map of the railroad cars in the Scottsboro Boys trial, Klan documents from the Mississippi Burning case, and opinion polls related to the My Lai courts martial.
posted by foxy_hedgehog on Nov 30, 2004 - 8 comments

Taking the Long View

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. History 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 - 190 comments

Saddam Hussein

Saddam Hussein. 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 - 63 comments

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