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1334 posts tagged with law.
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Government Will Ease Limits on Domestic Spying by F.B.I.

Government Will Ease Limits on Domestic Spying by F.B.I. (NY Times link) As part of a sweeping effort to transform the F.B.I. into a domestic terrorism prevention agency, Attorney General John Ashcroft has decided to relax restrictions on the bureau's ability to conduct domestic spying in counterterrorism operations, senior government officials said today. Here's the Wash. Post's take on the story.
posted by Ty Webb on May 30, 2002 - 21 comments

Even if it works, using the detah penalty as deterrent is morally flawed

Even if it works, using the detah penalty as deterrent is morally flawed The mere fact that an orthodontist in Cleveland feels more anxious about crime shouldn't make the state more "right" to take a life. And, if you are in favor of the death penalty, the mere fact that the same orthodontist feels comfortable leaving his door unlocked shouldn't mean that a murderer should pay less of a price for killing a child.
posted by magullo on May 24, 2002 - 45 comments

Good news!

Good news! It's ok to "steal" golf balls again.
posted by kingmissile on May 21, 2002 - 12 comments

How Microsoft sells Windows upgrades for Macs.

How Microsoft sells Windows upgrades for Macs. Also, how Microsoft wants to sell software licenses for people who don't even have computers. via LGF
posted by mr_crash_davis on May 16, 2002 - 9 comments

Judge orders VeriSign to stop ad campaign

Judge orders VeriSign to stop ad campaign A U.S. court on Tuesday ordered Internet naming giant VeriSign Inc. to immediately cease a direct-mail campaign that used what a rival called deceptive advertising to poach its customers. A development in an earlier posted story.
posted by timeistight on May 16, 2002 - 7 comments

Saudi Arabia considers allowing women into legal profession.

Saudi Arabia considers allowing women into legal profession. Justice Minister cautions that "female lawyers would not be allowed to attend court...Women would instead be asked to write out their arguments, which would be presented on their behalf by men."
posted by mediareport on May 11, 2002 - 26 comments

Controversial new bill

Controversial new bill to lay out reproductive technology guidelines. Canadian version of this battle doesn't seem to feature as many religious wackos. It's just not as fun without them.
posted by Leonard on May 9, 2002 - 0 comments

In a major policy reversal, the Justice Department has officially endorsed an individual right to bear arms. In doing so, the Justice Department has abandoned its long-held position that the second amendment is limited in scope to protecting militia activities. Does this mean the Justice Department will stop enforcing federal laws that it sees as violating the 2nd amendemnt? Should it? If there is a individual right to bear arms, how far should it extend?
posted by boltman on May 8, 2002 - 65 comments

Judge declares terrorism detainments unconstitutional

Judge declares terrorism detainments unconstitutional (NYTimes link) - A federal judge in NY has ruled that the Justice Department abused the material witness statute when it imprisoned a Jordanian college student living in San Diego. The Justice Dept is, of course, appealing the ruling.
posted by Irontom on May 6, 2002 - 8 comments

U.S. Declares Itself Above the Law. Powell says that a groundbreaking United Nations International Criminal Court would be harmful towards maintaining U.S. military action. But what does skipping out on such niceties as genocide and human rights abuses say to the rest of the world about accountability in Washington? Discuss.
posted by ed on May 6, 2002 - 87 comments

Nike Can't Just Say It, Court Rules

Nike Can't Just Say It, Court Rules Law: Firms can be found liable for deceptive public statements, justices decide. Critics call the decision a blow to free speech. You've got to love it.
posted by onegoodmove on May 5, 2002 - 15 comments

Utahns expected to walk on water.

Utahns expected to walk on water.
OK, not exactly. The slippery issue of whether or not a public easement for a river includes the right to walk on the bottom of the river has once again been sidestepped. Me, I'm playing it safe with this or maybe a pair of these.
posted by mr_crash_davis on May 4, 2002 - 2 comments

"Women Empowering Women".

"Women Empowering Women". This pyramid scheme is spreading like wildfire in the UK, with huge amounts of money involved. Basically you get a lot of people to put up say £100. The more people you attract to add money to the pyramid, the better chance you have of moving up and becoming entitled to many times your initial outlay. However, no investment occurs; this is simple cashflow juggling. Someone I work with gained £12000 on it in under a month - now everyone wants in the act. But (and I've pleaded with these people) the participants don't seem to appreciate the sheer idiocy of such schemes. Their attitude is "my husband goes to the betting shop, it's just my bit of fun". In the end, if you gain money, you're taking it directly from another participant. This is exploitation of people (normally hard-up, heavily mortgaged parents, it seems), is morally wrong and should be illegal - but it isn't in the UK. Here's a link to a BBC feature on pyramid schemes (aka trading schemes). This really boils my piss, but it carries on because individual participants can benefit from the fraud themselves. I understand women are targeted in this case as men are more likely to get in fights when they realise they've lost large amounts of cash.
posted by boneybaloney on May 3, 2002 - 18 comments

Certainly, no power to prescribe any religious exercise, or to assume authority in religious discipline, has been delegated to the General Government. --Thomas Jefferson
posted by rushmc on May 2, 2002 - 25 comments

A five-year-old kid from Minnesota

A five-year-old kid from Minnesota has patented a way of swinging on a child's swing. More proof, if anyone needs it, that the government is veering from an institution of reason to an institution of control. At what point is a sufficient degree of absurdity reached that legitimacy is widely recognized to have been abandoned?
posted by rushmc on Apr 19, 2002 - 21 comments

Oregon assisted suicide law upheld.

Oregon assisted suicide law upheld. After declaring his intent to use the Federal Controlled Substances Act to go after doctors who prescribe lethal doses of medication to patients, the AG is faced with a court ruling that "does not prohibit practitioners from prescribing and dispensing controlled substances in compliance with a carefully worded state legislative act." The plot thickens.
posted by shagoth on Apr 17, 2002 - 22 comments

Catholic church plays hardball in the courts.

Catholic church plays hardball in the courts. [NYTimes link, login metafi/metafi] "The dioceses have on the whole acted little differently from commercial institutions confronted by explosive litigation risks. They have tried aggressively to limit exposure to claims by setting up parishes as individual corporations, invoked the statute of limitations, subjected plaintiffs to days of grueling depositions and settled claims in secret." Should the church be behaving just like any private company? What would Jesus do?
posted by boltman on Apr 14, 2002 - 16 comments

"The last Nazi was there. I shot and killed him. And Hitler was there. I shot and killed him."

"The last Nazi was there. I shot and killed him. And Hitler was there. I shot and killed him." Is this the Godwin's Law defense? If the trial isn't therefore automatically over, and if Michael McDermott isn't crazy, at least he seems to have started planning his defense for quite a while - his first words when arrested were "I don't speak German".
posted by yhbc on Apr 12, 2002 - 49 comments

Utah Judge Rules Medical Pot is In

Utah Judge Rules Medical Pot is In via the Utahns for Compassionate Use. "During a preliminary hearing for three patients in Cedar City on Wednesday March 27, 2002 Judge Braithwaite bound patients over for trial and ruled that their medical marijuana arguments do count in a Utah Courtroom even though Utah has different laws than California." My question, of course, is: do you really spell it "Utahns?"
posted by massless on Apr 5, 2002 - 2 comments

Once-Secret "Nixon Tapes" Show Why the U.S. Outlawed Pot

Once-Secret "Nixon Tapes" Show Why the U.S. Outlawed Pot
Ok, I'll admit that I was amused by the fact that 420,000 people were arrested in that first year....
posted by ookamaka on Mar 21, 2002 - 8 comments

If citizens voted for it and juries made of citizens refuse to convict other citizens for it ...

If citizens voted for it and juries made of citizens refuse to convict other citizens for it ... Where is the dilemma?
posted by magullo on Mar 19, 2002 - 5 comments

DigitalConsumer.org

DigitalConsumer.org is trying to get Congress to pass a six-point Consumer Technology Bill of Rights to protect the legitimate rights of honest consumers who buy copyrighted content legally. You can read about the issue and the group in Walt Mossberg's WSJ column.
posted by pmurray63 on Mar 14, 2002 - 4 comments

Privacy in Cyberspace.

Privacy in Cyberspace. The Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School is offering a free "lecture and discussion" series on Internet Privacy. The series began today and is comprised of six modules that are introduced weekly over six weeks. Registration is free and open to all.
posted by gd779 on Mar 11, 2002 - 10 comments

"We just want to provide a safe environment where the students can thrive."

"We just want to provide a safe environment where the students can thrive." Cussing at school can get you ticketed and/or sent to juvenile hall now. Student free speech rights at risk? Tinker vs. Des Moines all over again?
posted by Kevin Sanders on Mar 1, 2002 - 13 comments

Providence firefighters forced to march in gay parade.

Providence firefighters forced to march in gay parade. Is firefighters' participation in a gay rights parade "...an important demonstration of community solidarity" as claimed by one side, or should participation by public servants be limited to volunteers?
posted by mr_crash_davis on Mar 1, 2002 - 25 comments

More from the "Watch What You Say Online" Department

More from the "Watch What You Say Online" Department This Wired story mentions a fellow who badmouthed a thin-skinned company on an online forum and found himself hit with a $450,000 default judgment against him because he didn't show up in court to defend himself (he claims he had no idea he had been sued). Even those among us who might not be guilty of stealing have probably said something bad about various companies here and elsewhere. Should we all go hire a lawyer RIGHT NOW?
posted by briank on Mar 1, 2002 - 17 comments

"It's really like rape"

"It's really like rape" say lawyers for a college student who sued Arco Media (makers of "Wild Party Girls Video") and won 5 million dollars. From what I was able to find, alcohol was not forced down her throat (she used intoxication as part of her defense) so I am having a difficult time seeing where the "rape" part comes in.
posted by KevinSkomsvold on Feb 28, 2002 - 53 comments

on a budget madame, well incarceration is our cheaper plan.

on a budget madame, well incarceration is our cheaper plan. Yes it seeems that the economics suggest that life imprisonment is the prudent option rather than the wanton excess of execution.
posted by johnnyboy on Feb 28, 2002 - 17 comments

make sure she really means "yes"...

make sure she really means "yes"... consent condoms are an interesting twist on using condoms in a causal sex environment. the man hands a package to his partner containing a condom and a card which takes her fingerprints and lets her tear off the date for which the condom is to be used. one's to wonder if all casual sex will be conducted like this in the future.
posted by boogah on Feb 25, 2002 - 33 comments

In California, it's now legal for criminals to profit from the sale of stories related to their crimes.

In California, it's now legal for criminals to profit from the sale of stories related to their crimes. Yesterday the CA Supreme Court unanimously struck down the 16 year-old Son of Sam law. The test case involved the movie rights to the story of the man who kidnapped Frank Sinatra, Jr. Victims are angry, but others say that the law represented a direct conflict with free speech, and could have been used to suppress anti-government voices. (more inside)
posted by bingo on Feb 22, 2002 - 15 comments

Black thugs terrorize white students!

Black thugs terrorize white students! So the hooligans specifically target people who they think are white. Soon however they are all caught and put in jail. But these hoodlums were not prosecuted under any hate crime laws. But it gets better: Somehow, David Duke gets involved... and the story still hasn't broke nationally!
posted by Keen on Feb 21, 2002 - 30 comments

Asbestos: The $200 Billion Miscarriage of Justice

Asbestos: The $200 Billion Miscarriage of Justice The original "mass tort" is bringing down companies faster than you can say "Enron." Since January 2000, 16 asbestos defendant companies have filed for Chapter 11 protection, including Owens Corning, Federal Mogul, W.R. Grace, and USG Corp. Here’s a disaster that’s so screwed-up, and gathering such momentum, that "lawyers who represent the truly ill are teaming up with asbestos defendants to demand reform. They fear that the marginally impaired plaintiffs will drive so many defendants bankrupt that the genuinely sick and dying will have no one left to collect from." And if you’re tempted to dismiss this as just deserts for "evil corporations," bear in mind that, like Enron, asbestos defendants are made up of thousands of workers, many of whom staked their future on pensions and company stock: "At the time of Federal-Mogul's bankruptcy filing this past October, all-too-loyal employees held 16% of the company's stock, which had lost 99% of its value since January 1999. About 14% of Owens Corning's shares--which lost 97% of their value in the two years before its filing--were owned by employees. But those employees' losses have thus far gone unbemoaned by Congress." [more inside…]
posted by pardonyou? on Feb 18, 2002 - 26 comments

Kelly vs. Arriba (PDF)

Kelly vs. Arriba (PDF) Arriba search engine has been determined to be infringing on the copyright of photographer Leslie Kelly. The reason? Arriba displays thumbnails of copyrighted images in their search results, and displays the original page in a frameset. What kind of precedent will this set for Google and the rest of the web?
posted by johnjreeve on Feb 11, 2002 - 17 comments

Senator Hollings makes the case for a special council to look into the Enron affair.

Senator Hollings makes the case for a special council to look into the Enron affair. (NY Times link). San Antonio columnist Jan Jarboe Russell argues for the same. Here's a Guardian article on the situation.
posted by Ty Webb on Feb 9, 2002 - 11 comments

Town passes law banning nudity...

Town passes law banning nudity...... but more notable is the section of the law banning erections in males over 10 years old. Why was a law like this needed? (link via Obscure Store)
posted by krewson on Feb 8, 2002 - 15 comments

For any unconvinced that demonstrations

For any unconvinced that demonstrations against corporate greed are called for, take a look at this documentary about a section of NAFTA which allows corporations to sue governments (in private tribunals) for having laws which get in the way of their profits. One current example is a canadian company suing the US gov't for an environmental law which bans their product.
posted by mdn on Feb 5, 2002 - 50 comments

Convicted murderer wants taxpayer-financed sex change.

Convicted murderer wants taxpayer-financed sex change. "Hill & Barlow, the law firm appointed by the court to represent Kosilek, said in a statement: 'The case raises important constitutional issues about medical treatment for prisoners.'" When fourteen percent of the population doesn't have health insurance at all, is there any legitimate reason to expect the government to pay for this?
posted by mr_crash_davis on Feb 3, 2002 - 24 comments

Excellent summation

Excellent summation of the Cheney/GAO tussle by someone who knows a thing or two about cover-ups: John Dean.
posted by kittyloop on Feb 1, 2002 - 12 comments

We interrupt your war on terror to attack abortion rights...
The Bush administration has declared that a fetus is an unborn child. And why not? Everyone believes in prenatal care. And of course, if the government wanted to extend medical coverage to poor pregnant women under the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIPS), it could have done so directly. But then, what fun is that?
posted by jellybuzz on Jan 31, 2002 - 84 comments

Seatbelts save lives

Seatbelts save lives. Nineteen years ago today wearing seatbelts in cars became mandatory in the UK. Almost everyone agrees that they save lives but still many people don't bother, especially in the back seat.
posted by nedrichards on Jan 31, 2002 - 49 comments

The Middlesex District Attorney prevented Michael Costin's family from donating his heart for a transplant

The Middlesex District Attorney prevented Michael Costin's family from donating his heart for a transplant in case Thomas Junta's lawyer had argued Costin died of a pre-existing heart condition.

"With heart transplants, it's literally a life or death situation," said Dr. Lachlan Forrow, an internist and director of the ethics program at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. "It's very, very likely that, because of this decision, someone with heart disease died. I think it's tragic."
posted by mr_crash_davis on Jan 28, 2002 - 10 comments

Aboriginal leader asks court to spear policeman to death.

Aboriginal leader asks court to spear policeman to death. Ahahah ahah hah ah ahh HAHAHAA (more inside)
posted by holloway on Jan 27, 2002 - 38 comments

Is this a real chance at campaign finance reform

Is this a real chance at campaign finance reform or are we just in for more partisan back and forth that in the end won't change much of anything? (NY Times link) And how long will the "Enron effect" last?
posted by willrich on Jan 25, 2002 - 6 comments

The most sensible take I've seen on Enron and Bush. Once all the fuss has died down—Congress is currently planning ten separate inquiries—two good things will probably have come out of the Enron mess. Companies will no longer be allowed to use their pension programs to treat their employees as an especially loyal and malleable class of shareholder; instead, pension funds will have to be diversified. And accounting firms will no longer be allowed to act as paid consultants to the companies they audit, as Arthur Andersen did with Enron. New Yorker link, no registration required.
posted by jfuller on Jan 23, 2002 - 9 comments

Sweeeeeeeeeeeet!!!!!

Sweeeeeeeeeeeet!!!!! A bit of a repeat, but absolutely justified
posted by magullo on Jan 18, 2002 - 19 comments

Carriers Aim to Kill Number Portability

Carriers Aim to Kill Number Portability - Large cell phone carriers are trying to squash a requirement that they allow consumers to switch services and still keep their same phone number. This would allow them to continue providing low levels of customer service, coverage, and quality.
posted by jeblis on Jan 17, 2002 - 23 comments

Stephen Downing

Stephen Downing, aged 17, was arrested and interrogated for 8 hours by the police without caution and without legal counsel. Despite having the reading age of an 11 year old, he was allowed to sign a confession to the brutal slaughter of typist Wendy Sewell. 27 years later at the UK Court of Appeal, he became today the victim of the longest miscarriage of justice in the Britain's history.
posted by dlewis on Jan 15, 2002 - 7 comments

Phew! It's okay to drive stoned in Idaho now.

Phew! It's okay to drive stoned in Idaho now. Assuming you can pass a field sobriety test, that is. To quote the attorney, "just having smoked marijuana doesn't give somebody cause to arrest you for that when driving." This seems to be a technicality, and you have to assume it's going to be overturned. If not, anyone up for a road trip to Boise?
posted by emptyage on Jan 15, 2002 - 10 comments

Convicted Hockey Dad Killer to get only 3- 5 years?

Convicted Hockey Dad Killer to get only 3- 5 years? i know he only threw a few punches, but he was 275 lbs and his victim was 165 lbs. I'm sorry, but killing a guy nearly half your size in front of children - in front of both of their children even - is reason enough for throwing the book at this thug. 20 years = 10 years if he stays cool in the pokie - a pittance if you're the victims kids. Hopefully the Mass judge will make an example out of this totally unneccessary tragedy.
posted by tsarfan on Jan 11, 2002 - 48 comments

Copy protection for CDs does not have future

Copy protection for CDs does not have future says Philips. Philips spokesperson Klaus Petri, speaking to Reuters, says its company counts on the fact that the refusal of consumers will convince the music industry to step back from copy-protected CD's. Petri said that Philips could sue the manufacturers of CD's with copy protection (as managers of the world-wide CD patents), because they would not correspond to the standards. "those are silver disks with music on them, but which do not resemble CD's". [via Neowin.net]
posted by riffola on Jan 9, 2002 - 16 comments

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