This is a very interesting development that could lead somewhere important. The Department of Justice is now informing defendants if any evidence in their case was procured through a warrantless wiretap. Why is this important? Because it gives them standing to challenge illegal surveillance.
Category Archive: Constitutional law
Oct 24 2013
The Obama administration’s argument for why it’s okay to collect everyone’s electronic communications (like the Bush administration) is that it isn’t really a search until a human looks at or listens to all that data. And trust them, they have rules about that. Bruce Schneier explains why that’s absolute nonsense.
Oct 24 2013
This is an edited reposting of something I wrote in 2006 about the concept of judicial activism. It discusses an article by Keenan Kmiec, son of conservative legal scholar Doug Kmiec and a respected scholar in his own right, about the history and meaning of the phrase. His conclusion is much like mine, that it …
Oct 22 2013
Adam Liptak is generally an excellent reporter on the Supreme Court and judicial matters, but I think this recent article entitled “How Activist Is the Supreme Court?” asks a completely wrongheaded question. It does so because both left and right, as he notes, have begun to use the phrase “judicial activism” to criticize their opponents.
Oct 20 2013
On Wednesday, I was really hoping that my birthday present would be a ruling from a federal court in Detroit striking down Michigan’s law banning same-sex marriage. But the judge decided not to rule on the cross motions for summary judgment and to set a schedule for trial instead. The trial will begin on Feb. …
Oct 17 2013
Rolling Stone has an article about a problem few people ever think about, the use of public tax money to support religious schools that engage in discrimination against gay teenagers, expelling them if they find out that they’re gay. In most states, it is done through “neo-vouchers.” The article explains how they work:
Oct 16 2013
Richard Posner is an absolutely legendary federal judge on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, probably the most famous and most respected member of the federal bench not on the Supreme Court. And he once wrote a decision upholding photo ID laws for voting, a decision he has now decided was wrong. Rick Hasen, one …
Oct 16 2013
President Obama has publicly said that he is very reluctant to invoke 14th Amendment authority to raise the debt ceiling on his own, without congressional approval. And some have argued, as Obama has, that doing so would lead to many lawsuits and other bad results. Hendrik Hertzberg says the president could and should do this:
Oct 12 2013
One of the fascinating items in Justice Scalia’s interview with New York magazine was his admission that he deliberately avoids news outlets that he considers liberal and gets his news primarily from right wing talk radio. He only gets two newspapers, one of them the Washington Moonie Times.
Oct 11 2013
With the government still shut down and the debt ceiling limit about to be reached, some have argued that President Obama could invoke Section 4 of the 14th Amendment and order the Treasury Department to continue borrowing despite the statutory debt limit having been reached. Section 4 says:
Oct 10 2013
This is the second in a series of posts examining some of Justice Scalia’s statements in a long interview with Jennifer Senior in New York magazine. This one looks at Scalia’s approach to the 9th Amendment, which is very much like Robert Bork’s in that it would read the amendment right out of the Constitution.
Oct 09 2013
Jennifer Senior has a fascinating interview with Justice Antonin Scalia in New York magazine. I was going to write a post about it, but there are so many statements in it that need to be critiqued that I decided to break it up into a number of different posts rather than one incredibly long one. …
Oct 09 2013
With the filing of a lawsuit to prevent the teaching of evolution in Kansas, I feel like we’re flashing back to 1999, when the first creationism battles in that state took place. It even involves the same people, like John Calvert, a Kansas attorney who is absolutely obsessed with stopping the teaching of science in …
Oct 08 2013
The Washington Post has a long feature article about Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who has made it abundantly clear that she has no intention of leaving the Supreme Court in order to assure that President Obama can nominate her successor. And she says she thinks a Democrat will win in 2016: