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Category Archive: Civil Liberties

May 12 2014

Dateline 1937: Student Punished for Not Saying Pledge

45 of 50 states now require schools to recite the Pledge of Allegiance every day, but the law says that no student can be forced to say it. But a student in Texas was just punished for refusing to say the pledge, both by his teacher and the principal.

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May 11 2014

Adelson Spending Huge at State Level Too

Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson spent almost a hundred million dollars in the last presidential election, much of it to help Newt Gingrich, but he’s now very busy funding politicians at the state level as well in order to achieve his goal of banning all online gambling in the United States.

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Apr 25 2014

RGA Launches Vile Attack on SC Gov. Candidate

The Republican Governors Association has released an absolutely disgusting ad attacking Vincent Sheheen, the Democratic nominee running against South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, for the horrible crime of being a defense lawyer. That means he “protects criminals, not South Carolina.”

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Apr 18 2014

Louisiana Refuses to Repeal Unconstitutional Sodomy Law

In 2003, the Supreme Court overturned all state anti-sodomy laws in Lawrence v Texas, making them unenforceable. But the Louisiana state legislature is insisting by a better than 2-1 margin that they keep their law on the books anyway because…well, who the hell knows why.

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Apr 15 2014

The IRS May Be a Bit Out of Control

No one likes the IRS, but this appalling and infuriating story is likely to make you like that agency even less. They’re now withholding tax refund checks from people whose long-dead parents had federal debts from decades ago, and we’re talking hundreds of millions of dollars.

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Apr 15 2014

Indiana Court: Police Testimony Trumps Video

In an age where it has become absolutely routine to have video evidence that shows police officers to be lying in their reports and testimony, the Indiana Supreme Court is coming down firmly on the side of “who are you gonna believe, the cop or your lying eyes?”

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Apr 09 2014

The TSA’s Penchant for Theft

A TSA agent named Pythias Brown was convicted of stealing $800,000 from passengers at Newark International Airport over the course of many years and he says this sort of thing is quite routine from TSA agents around the country. In fact, look at this staggering statistic:

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Apr 04 2014

How to Put a Stop to Stop and Frisk

Christopher Smith is a white law professor with a black son who goes to Harvard. When his son was doing an internship on Wall Street for a summer he was stopped repeatedly by the police as part of their Stop and Frisk program. His father writes a powerful essay about it.

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Apr 04 2014

Major Win for Atheist in Religious Drug Treatment Case

The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of an atheist man from Missouri who was denied parole on a drug charge because he refused to submit to a religious rehab program and the state refused to send him to a secular one. The denial of his original grievance and his loss at …

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Apr 03 2014

VA Sheriff Wants to Set Up Innocence Commission

Sheriff Chip Harding of Albemarle County, Virginia wants the state to set up an innocence commission to help prevent wrongful convictions. If established, it would be the second one that I’m aware of, the first being in Dallas, Texas, where District Attorney Craig Watkins set it up. And what Harding wrote to his fellow law …

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Mar 30 2014

Former CIA Agent Hammers Feinstein

Former CIA agent Philip Giraldi has some choice words for Dianne Feinstein and other leaders in the legislative and executive branches who tut tut about the Bush torture regime while doing absolutely nothing to bring about justice or to reveal their own role in making it happen.

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Mar 30 2014

Bin Laden Son-in-Law Convicted

Hey, remember all that Republican fury over the idea that terrorists could be tried in civilian courts and convicted without the world coming to an end and dogs and cats living together? Turns out, not so much. Osama Bin Laden’s son-in-law was convicted in civilian court in New York, just like hundreds of others have …

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Mar 27 2014

Obama to Rein In Telephone Metadata Collection?

The New York Times reports that President Obama is preparing to submit legislation that would rein in the NSA’s metadata collection activities. This is a follow up to his statement in January that he wants those records stored elsewhere and to require FISA warrants before being accessed.

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Mar 26 2014

The Broken Criminal Justice System

Glenn Reynolds, law professor and the infamous Instapundit, has a good op-ed in USA Today wherein he declares, correctly, that our criminal justice system is a crime in and of itself. He points out how prosecutors vastly overcharge to force plea bargains:

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Mar 25 2014

Docs Confirm Metadata Snooping Started Under Bush

Newly released documents that were apparently submitted by the federal government in several legal challenges to the NSA’s illegal surveillance programs confirm that the mining of metadata from emails began under direct order from President Bush.

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