1448 posts tagged with law.
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Zen and the art of Presidential usurpation

Back when President Bush declared a state of emergency, then did it again, and people were wondering Could Terrorism Result In A Constitutional Dictator? I was reminded of the UN invasion paranoia under Clinton and Senate Report 93-549, written in 1973, which said "Since March 9, 1933, the United States has been in a state of declared national emergency." and the question was have we been living in a state of National Emergency for over six decades? Back then it was easy to write off with the tinfoil hat crowd. But it seems throughout the nation's history, presidents have in fact been using executive orders on "emergencies" to circumvent the Constitution's division of power.
posted by Smedleyman on Feb 16, 2006 - 21 comments

New SEC Executive Compensation Proposal

The SEC has proposed new rules [pdf] to drastically increase requirements on executive compensation disclosure. You can read a summary of the proposal in the SEC's press release, as well as statements from Chairman Cox and Commissioner Atkin. [more inside]
posted by monju_bosatsu on Feb 16, 2006 - 23 comments

Supplemental Jurisdiction

28 U.S.C 1367 was a controversial and confusing attempt by Congress to codify and address the issue of Supplemental Jurisdiction established in cases such as United Mine Workers v. Gibbs, 383 U.S. 715 (1966), Zahn v. International Paper, Co., 414 U.S. 291 (1973), and Finley v. United States, 490 U.S. 545 (1989). The Supreme Court tried to clarify some of the confusing issues regarding 1367 in a 2005 opinion. Exxon Mobil Corp v. Allapattah Servs., Inc., (2005) (Kennedy, J., writing for the Court) (Stevens, J., dissenting) (Ginsburg, J., dissenting). The question of whether the Court clarified the issue or made it more complicated remains arguably unanswered.
posted by dios on Feb 16, 2006 - 25 comments

D: Yes, it does, because I've already had this discussion with him, and I've already been asked to change the signs, and I did. And I looked up all the statutes.

Red State, Meet Police State --take a big anti-Bush bumper sticker, some DHS cops, and an outspoken and educated federal employee. Put them in Boise, Idaho. Mix well. "It's the First Amendment for a reason--not the last, not the middle. The first."
posted by amberglow on Feb 16, 2006 - 251 comments

Just how important are law clerks?

David Garrow reviewed Justice Blackmun's papers, released to the public in 2005, and concludes that towards the end of his career, Blackmun's clerks all but signed his opinions. In an interview, discussing senility and Supreme Court Justices, Garrow argues that there has been "a dramatic increase over the last 35 or 45 years in the amount of the justices’ work that is performed by their law clerks," and recommends a "reduction to two or, even better yet, one clerk" from the four clerks available per Justice now. Garrow also comments on the now-deceased Chief Justice Rehnquist, who suffered from an addiction to painkillers in the 1980s. Garrow's view is controversial, though, and Legal Affairs published several responses in the same issue. Other law professors have weighed in, including Dan Markel, Mark Tushnet, and some of the folks at the Volokh Conspiracy. So how large is the impact of law clerks?
posted by monju_bosatsu on Feb 15, 2006 - 63 comments

Choice of Law; Conflicts of Law

The 2005 Annual Survey on Choice of Law in American Courts. [pdf] The survey on Choice of Law looks at the recent controversial Supreme Court ruling dealing with conflict of laws. See Spector v. Norwegian Cruise Line, Ltd., 125 S.Ct. 2169 (2005). (Kennedy, J., writing the opinion of the Court) (Ginsburg, J., concurring) (Scalia, J., dissenting) (Thomas, J., concurring in part, dissenting in part). At issue in Spector was whether disability statutes applied to ships that depart from Texas and travel through domestic waters but fly under the flag of the Bahamas. Other 2005 Supreme Court conflict of laws cases included Small v. United States and Pasquantino v. United States.
posted by dios on Feb 15, 2006 - 12 comments

How much does your lawyer get paid?

Lawyers appear to missing out on the growth of the leisure class. Despite American's growing leisure time, and despite another round of pay increases for starting associates, lawyers seem to be working more hours than ever. As long as lawyers are tied the billable hour, it seems that greater salaries for associates inevitably means longer hours for associates. Law professor Pat Schiltz argues [pdf] that the longer hours for new associates combined with the high pressures of law practice means that those lawyers often suffer from depression, anxiety, alcoholism, drug abuse, and suicide at very high rates, and are often forced into unethical practices just to meet the requirements of the law firm.
posted by monju_bosatsu on Feb 13, 2006 - 86 comments

FED. R. APP. P. 32.1

Proposed Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 32.1. Proposed Rule 32.1 [.pdf] is an attempt to resolve a dispute in federal court practice over the propriety of citations to unpublished opinions. It is an argument that has been played out in academic papers and Circuit Courts. Judge Richard Arnold of the 8th Circuit, writing for the majority, held that local rules which declare that unpublished opinions are not precedent are unconstitutional under Article III. Anastasoff v. United States, 223 F.3d 898, 900(8th Cir. 2000), vacated as moot on reh'g en banc, 235 F.3d 1054 (8th Cir.2000). Judge Alex Kozinski of the 9th Circuit disagreed, holding that nonprecedential decisions are not inconsistent with the exercise of the judicial power. Hart v. Massanari, 226 F.3d 1155, 1163 (9th Cir. 2001). The proposed Rule would resolve the circuit split, but the debate rages on.
posted by dios on Feb 13, 2006 - 18 comments

Mapping Sex Offenders

A map of sex offenders in YOUR neighborhood. People can change, and mistakes can be redeemed, but then again, looking at map of colored dots in my own neighborhood kind of gives me the creeps.
posted by JWright on Feb 11, 2006 - 68 comments

Supreme Court Oral Argument MP3s.

The Oyez Project has placed online mp3s for all of the arguments from the 2004 term of the United States Supreme Court. The 2004 terms spans all cases argued between October 4, 2004, and April 27, 2005, including United States v. Booker and United States v. FanFan, Roper v. Simmons , Raich v. Gonzales, Kelo v. City of New London, McCreary County v. ACLU, and Van Orden v. Perry. [slightly more inside]
posted by monju_bosatsu on Feb 7, 2006 - 25 comments

Video of a San Bernardino Sheriff's Deputy shooting an unarmed man who appears to be complying with orders.

Video of an unarmed man being shot by a San Bernardino Sheriff's Deputy while appearing to comply with orders.

Senior Airman Elio Carrion, 21, had been riding as a passenger in a Corvette that was involved in a brief, high-speed chase with the deputy that reached speeds of 100 mph before the Corvette crashed into a fence, authorities said. The videotape, shot by Chino resident Jose Luis Valdes, shows Carrion sprawled on the ground and repeatedly telling the deputy, "I'm on your side." The deputy then seems to shout, "Get up!" after which Carrion appears to lean forward. "I'm going to get up, all right?" he says. The deputy then fires his gun three or four times from about five feet away. "Shut … up, you don't get up …!" he shouts. Moaning in pain, Carrion responds: "You told me to get up." The deputy then radioed in to dispatch that shots had been fired. [LA Times]

posted by Mijo Bijo on Feb 2, 2006 - 154 comments

Alito's First Vote

Alito's First Vote. In his first significant act on the Supreme Court, Justice Alito splits with his conservative colleagues, and votes to refuse to let Missouri execute a death-row inmate contesting lethal injection. You can read the (very short) order on page four of yesterday's order sheet [pdf]. More commentary at SCOTUSblog, and discussion of Alito's approach to the death penalty is available at Sentencing Law & Policy.
posted by monju_bosatsu on Feb 2, 2006 - 38 comments

Skål!

Similar to the US Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Council of Norway, or Forbrukerrådet (PDF) strives "to achieve a balance of power between the consumer and the provider of products or services." This week, the council filed a formal complaint, citing several violations of Norwegian law in the fluid terms of service attached to iTunes music file downloads.
posted by Rothko on Jan 28, 2006 - 9 comments

Patent trolls suck. (I own that)

Where can a company that owns nothing but legal documents force another company that actually does make products to pay them? In the USA! You too can be a patent troll. Just patent any dumb idea you have -- you'll certainly be awarded the patent -- then sue anyone who makes a product that looks remotely like it could be based on your idea. Congratulations! You made money by punishing people who actually make things! Hooray!
posted by raaka on Jan 23, 2006 - 22 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

Information wants to be free.

Wikipedia wrangling once more: the entire German edition was shut down this week over the contents of a single entry. The parents of the article's subject, a German hacker who died in 1998 under mysterious circumstances, are displeased with his real name being disclosed in the encyclopedia. It is now back online; however, the future of the family's efforts is currently unclear, not only due to the German order's debatable validity in the US - but also because the order was, initially at least, mistakenly addressed to St. Petersburg, Russia, instead of St. Petersburg, Florida.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Jan 20, 2006 - 18 comments

Plagiarism - or web 2.0 in action?

Top Ten Sources takes posts from RSS feeds and aggregates them in full for the public to see. Some take offence; some say it goes beyond expected usage; some call it plagiarism - others say it's legal, that detractors should get a life or are even thinking about investing. Some people don't appear to want their RSS feeds to be aggregated at all. Will this discussion set blogging policy for the future? Or will it block the web 2.0 pipe?
posted by bwerdmuller on Jan 19, 2006 - 50 comments

Supreme Court rules in Ayotte.

The Supreme Court decided Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood today, vacating the lower court's ruling that the parental notification statute was unconstitional. Instead, the Court instructed the lower court to consider narrower relief. The Court, in an opinion [pdf] written by Justice O'Connor, held that if enforcing a statute that regulates access to abortion would be unconstitutional in medical emergencies, invalidating the statute entirely is not always necessary or justified, for lower courts may be able to render narrower declaratory and injunctive relief. [more inside]
posted by monju_bosatsu on Jan 18, 2006 - 33 comments

Supreme Court upholds Oregon's assisted suicide law.

Supreme Court upholds Oregon's assisted suicide law. Justice Kenedy wrote the opinion for the majority, concluding that Ashcroft did not have the authority to sanction doctors under the Controlled Substances Act. Justice Scalia dissented, joined by Justice Thomas and Chief Justice Roberts. Thomas also wrote a separate dissent. The Washington Post has the opinions, and you can get the pdf from the Supreme Court's website.
posted by monju_bosatsu on Jan 17, 2006 - 44 comments

Florida vouchers ruled unconstitutional

"We make no distinction between a small violation of the Constitution and a large one. Both are equally invalid. Indeed, in the system of government envisioned by the Founding Fathers, we abhor the small violation precisely because it is precedent for the larger one." (PDF) By a 5-2 count, the Florida Supreme Court ruled Thursday that public monies may not be used to fund private schools, thus closing off avenues for embezzlement and violations of the Establishment Clause that otherwise prevents a US state from endorsing, or establishing specific religious organizations.
posted by Rothko on Jan 5, 2006 - 59 comments

The Jennifer Porter Case

The Hard Road A very engrossing and well written series by three reporters of the St Petersburg Times who spent a year reporting on a hit-and-run case that shocked Tampa. This long, tragic narrative broken into five installments, explores what happened after Jennifer Porter, a quiet, unassuming 28-year-old schoolteacher, ran down four of Lisa Wilkins' children one evening in March 2004. [via]
posted by StarForce5 on Dec 28, 2005 - 91 comments

Columbia Law School Music Plagiarism Project

The Columbia Law School Music Plagiarism Project is a repository of the music industry's most famous copyright infringement cases of the past 100 years. Each case contains links to samples of the original song and the alleged infringer, and there's even a song list for easy browsing. (My favorite: Gilbert O'Sullivan v. Biz Markie).
posted by Saucy Intruder on Dec 17, 2005 - 42 comments

YA reason to love the DMCA

Judge: Stealing a password does not constitute hacking. David Egilman is a highly-regarded expert in occupational medicine; he was the plaintiff's witness in a recent $253-million verdict in Texas against Vioxx. After two opposing law firms stole a password to his private website containing confidential information for his clients and students, he sued them under the DMCA. He lost.
posted by docgonzo on Dec 14, 2005 - 50 comments

Wikipedia class action

A class-action lawsuit is being prepared against Wikipedia. After the controversy about John Seigenthaler and the exposure of the culprit, a group seeking to sue Wikipedia want people to join them. Can I sue other encyclopedias for publishing out-of-date, partizan, politicized nonsense?
posted by bobbyelliott on Dec 12, 2005 - 121 comments

What is it about Raleigh, N.C. and domain names?

Nissan.com belongs to Nissan Computer Corp., owned by Uzi Nissan in Raleigh, N.C. Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. has been in a protracted legal battle with Nissan Computer Corp. for control of the domain name and 10 million dollars. Now comes the mind-blowing coincidence: back in the day, Gateway, Inc. (then Gateway 2000, Inc.) was suing Gateway.com, Inc., owned by Alan Clegg, also of Raleigh, for control of gateway.com. They eventually settled out of court.)
posted by bugmuncher on Dec 8, 2005 - 44 comments

Twice a victim.

Twice a victim. A 17-year-old girl in Beaverton, Oregon accused her then-boyfriend, 18, of raping her along with two of his friends. Not only was the case dismissed, but prosecutors then decided to charge the girl with filing a false report; she was found guilty this week: included in the judge's reasoning were such things as "she did not act traumatized" to his satisfaction, and "the woman's false accusations were serious enough to lead to charges." Several bloggers have touched on this story and its potential impact, including Kevin Drum, Shakespeare's Sister, and Kevin Hayden, who knows the victim personally.
posted by XQUZYPHYR on Dec 4, 2005 - 134 comments

Nocturnal omissions

Acquitted of rape on basis of "sexsomnia" defense. Ontario resident Jan Luedecke said his unbidden penetration wasn't rape because he was asleep at the time. A judge agreed that "sexsomnia" is an illness. The websites which purport it to be a legitimate illness don't necessarily inspire confidence, and, unsurprisingly, some people are less than inspired. Meanwhile, the victim is appealing the ruling.
posted by poweredbybeard on Dec 2, 2005 - 106 comments

It’s kind of a radar for gayness, or a gay radar. It’s called… a homometer

'Gay' horse jibe lands student in court
posted by ab'd al'Hazred on Nov 25, 2005 - 87 comments

Abu Ali guilty of terror plot

Abu Ali guilty of terror plot. A Virginia jury has found Ahmed Omar Abu Ali guilty of terrorism related crimes. The prosecution charged he provided material support to Al Qaeda (pdf). His defenders claim his confession while in Saudi custody was obtained through torture. Does the goal of preventing terrorism justify relying on the Saudi's questionable interrogation methods?
posted by justkevin on Nov 22, 2005 - 11 comments

Copy Detected

dont pirate software cos if you do the cd will keep coming out of the drive and then you will look silly and injure your employer by making him trip over ADOBE RECOMMENDS GENUINE SOFTWARE THXBI [flash]
posted by Pretty_Generic on Nov 17, 2005 - 36 comments

The MacDowell Colony

"The spiritual, physical, intellectual, social or economic well-being of the general public".
Within the MacDowell Colony's rustic stone and clapboard cottages, Thornton Wilder wrote Our Town, Aaron Copland composed Appalachian Spring and Dubose and Dorothy Heyward wrote Porgy and Bess. Jonathan Franzen finished writing The Corrections and Alice Sebold worked on The Lovely Bones. For decades, the town considered the colony a tax-exempt charitable organization. Not anymore.
posted by matteo on Nov 14, 2005 - 9 comments

Torturing in our name

"We do not torture" (Bush, Nov. 7)
In an important clarification of President George W. Bush's earlier statement, a top White House official refused to unequivocally rule out the use of torture... (Hadley, Nov. 13) -- The fate of a House provision to ban the torture of prisoners in U.S. custody is in doubt, strongly opposed by the Administration. And don't call it torture: the preferred talking point wording is now enhanced interrogation techniques.
posted by amberglow on Nov 14, 2005 - 109 comments

The Muses still with freedom found - Shall to thy happy coast repair

Britain: Home of freedom, liberty and justice
posted by lalochezia on Nov 10, 2005 - 17 comments

w00t

Blair loses in the Commons for the first time since his election in 1997. MPs refused to pass laws allowing terrorist suspects to be jailed without trial for 90 days, and Blair's parliamentary majority of 66 turned into a minority of 31. The government has been holding back on the vote for months in an attempt to persuade their party to back the Prime Minister - they failed.
posted by Pretty_Generic on Nov 9, 2005 - 38 comments

Grokster shuts down

Grokster shuts down after their Supreme Court defeat [pdf] this summer, Grokster has chosen to settle its case with MGM et al., admit to wrongdoing, and stop distributing its software. Their website now displays the message: "There are legal services for downloading music and movies. This service is not one of them.". Another victoy for Hollywood in the intellectual property war. Who's next?
posted by falconred on Nov 7, 2005 - 32 comments

Emergency State

Emergency State: First Responder and Law Enforcement Training Architecture.
posted by Sticherbeast on Nov 6, 2005 - 11 comments

free at las

“Matthew Limon, the gay man at the center of a Kansas law struck down by the state Supreme Court, was freed late Thursday night, but his ordeal may not be over.
posted by halekon on Nov 4, 2005 - 67 comments

Pictures of Failure

Pictures of Failure: Incarcerated Youth. [via happy palace]
posted by mediareport on Nov 2, 2005 - 29 comments

Greek police "spam arrest" ongoing muddle

Register article on Greek arrest of well known programmer I'ved been watching this story since it surfaced at the rixstep.com page here and here; also covered at Techdirt.com in a couple of threads. Worth a look.
posted by hank on Nov 2, 2005 - 16 comments

There Oughta Be a Law

Make Your Own Law Psst, Newsfilter
Assemblyman Jimmy Meng wants his Flushing, New York constituents to submit their best ideas for new legislation. The best proposal will be introduced as a bill in Albany.
posted by fenriq on Oct 8, 2005 - 26 comments

Violence Begets Violence Begets Violence or: What the Hell is going on in Alabama?

Man Sentenced to Death in Alabama. but not just any old death sentence. This is the fellow who killed two cops and a police dispatcher, then blamed his actions on Grand Theft Auto, which is a popular video game. Alabama, the state whose residents fought so hard to keep the 10 commandments on display in a courthouse. Maybe they should have been allowed to display that monument, to remind them that murder is a crime - no matter how you dress it up.
posted by the theory of revolution on Oct 7, 2005 - 66 comments

Kitzmiller v. DASD

Intelligent Design on trial! The ACLU of PA is blogging the current trial in Dover, PA between the parents of students and the local school board which wants to teach students Intelligent Design. Over at The Panda's Thumb, they're also keeping track of the goings on. The main ACLU website has statements from most of the plaintiff's experts in the case, including this long, well-supported pdf from philsopher Barbara Forrest, whose testimony is being used to dismantle the canard that ID is not Creationism. Over at the Legal Affairs Debate Club Beckwith and Laylock argued, last week, about whether teaching ID is legal. For background: this 2002 special report from Natural History Magazine on Intelligent Design Creationism.
posted by OmieWise on Oct 6, 2005 - 81 comments

Bush names Harriet Miers to Supreme Court

Bush nominates Harriet Miers Bush has nominated Harriet Miers to replace Justice O'Connor. The first woman elected to the Texas Bar, she was Bush's personal attorney in Texas, and has served as Counsel to the President since Feb, 2005.

Washington Post
Google News search
SCOTUS Blog
posted by gleenyc on Oct 3, 2005 - 189 comments

Stand up for your rights-- but wait, what are they?

A new, controversial law making its way through the Finnish parliament is confusing, but its implementation may infringe on already existing Finnish laws of free speech. With decisions set to be made later this week, a demonstration has already been planned for Tuesday. On the other hand, some sources seem to be saying that this new law should present no major issue. Thus, it seems like there's a small amount of confusing legal voodoo going on: while the law wouldn't make it illegal to copy music to MP3 players, it would mean that "the breaking of copy protection for the copying of the content of a sound or video recording for personal use would be prohibited." It looks like no one knows exactly what they want out of this law, or how to interpret it. DMCA, anyone?
posted by taursir on Oct 2, 2005 - 6 comments

Covert Propaganda

Ethicsgate continues: Today, the bipartisan Government Accountability Office declared that the Bush administration broke the law by paying Armstrong Williams to write favorable columns about the No Child Left Behind Act, funneling public funds to a PR firm to sift through news stories and gauge media perception of Bush policies, and financing phony TV news reports giving the President's education policies "an A-plus," creating what the GAO called "covert propaganda." [Williams et. al. previously discussed here.]
posted by digaman on Sep 30, 2005 - 59 comments

Simon Wiesenthal, 1908-2005

Goodnight, mr. Wiesenthal
posted by matteo on Sep 20, 2005 - 68 comments

doctors suing patients

Doctors suing patients Are you angry and upset because of what a doctor did or did not do during a medical procedure? Did you express your anger online? Now doctors are suing patients for expressing their anger online.
posted by halekon on Sep 17, 2005 - 31 comments

The Ten Commandments ... on eBay?

In July, Georgia federal judge William C. O’Kelley ordered Barrow County to remove a Ten Commandments plaque from its courthouse. The suit was filed by ACLU Georgia, which not only succeeded in getting the plaque removed, but also recovered $150,000 in attorneys’ fees and expenses. Ten Commandments-Georgia pledged to reimburse the county for its legal expenses. In order for the group to raise the last $52,000 it needs to meet that pledge, it has put the actual Ten Commandments plaque that was removed from the courthouse under the order of the court up for auction on eBay.
posted by monju_bosatsu on Sep 13, 2005 - 40 comments

D to the N to A

DNA: frightening government privacy invasion tool of tomorrow or beautiful source of personal art today?
posted by mathowie on Sep 11, 2005 - 18 comments

Some are more truth than libelous

Libelous claims about large corporations Fedex licks each package. Gateway boxes are made from real cowhide. And Victoria has another secret.
posted by wannabehippie on Aug 31, 2005 - 26 comments

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