In a Guardian article revealing yet another way the NSA is spying on us without warrants (their third such revelation in three days), we find this very interesting exchange from March, a few weeks before the court order that was leaked to the Guardian about the Verizon metadata seizures:
Category Archive: Constitutional law
Jun 11 2013
Jun 11 2013
In advance of a meeting with the Chinese premier in California, President Obama spent about 15 minutes defending the spying programs exposed by newly leaked information. The case he made is quite unconvincing, essentially saying “trust me, I wouldn’t abuse this power.”
Jun 11 2013
The revelation that the government gets daily reports from Verizon that includes the metadata on every single communication sent through their network shows the dangers of data mining, something clearly forbidden both by the 4th Amendment and statutory law. Benjamin Wittes gives one very good reason why:
Jun 06 2013
The Supreme Court handed down another controversial 5-4 ruling on Monday morning, but this was not the usual lineup. The court ruled that it was constitutional for the police to take a cheek swab DNA sample and enter it into a federal database when someone is arrested for a violent crime. You can read the …
Jun 05 2013
Bryan Fischer is worried, folks. If the Supreme Court strikes down the Defense of Marriage Act, he says, it will unleash a laundry list of bad things — polygamy, incest, pedophilia, bestiality, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria. Here’s the video:
Jun 04 2013
In a very strange development, a federal judge who previously declared the FBI’s use of National Security Letters unconstitutional has now ordered Google to comply with nearly 20 such NSLs and turn over the information requested — and to not talk about who the target is or what information was turned over.
Jun 03 2013
The New York Times reports that President Obama is going to nominate James Comey to head the FBI, which I think is a brilliant move. If you recognize the name, it’s because Comey was a high-ranking DOJ official during the Bush administration. He’s the guy who refused to sign off on the warrantless wiretap program …
Jun 03 2013
Politicians of every party shade the truth and frame issues in a dishonest manner sometimes, but sometimes the chutzpah of the Republicans is truly a wonder to behold. Like their latest inane talking point about Obama allegedly trying to engage in “court packing” by nominating judges for open positions on federal courts.
May 31 2013
The Supreme Court got one right on a criminal justice and due process issue, which is always cause for celebration. And it’s a case from Michigan, McQuiggin v. Perkins, which involves a murder conviction for someone who may well be innocent. Floyd Perkins says he is innocent and he has affidavits from several of the …
May 30 2013
AP has a story speculating on whether the rapid advance of pro-marriage equality cases in several states over the last few months will influence the result of either the Prop 8 case or the DOMA case that the Supreme Court are considering right now, with a ruling expected in about a month.
May 29 2013
You probably don’t know who Alton Lemon is, but if you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time you should be familiar with the test named after him: the Lemon test, which the Supreme Court applies — sometimes — to determine when the Establishment Clause has been violated. Alton Lemon died a few …
May 22 2013
In 2010, Congress passed and President Obama signed the Fair Sentencing Act, which reduced the disparity in sentences for crack vs powder cocaine from 100-1 to 18-1. In 2012, the Supreme Court ruled that the new sentencing guidelines applied to cases where the defendant had been convicted before that law was passed but not yet …
May 22 2013
In the wake of the scandal over the DOJ’s seizure of the phone records of reporters from the Associated Press, a bipartisan group of legislators has submitted a bill to require that any such seizures can only be done pursuant to a warrant issued by a judge.
May 21 2013
The story of the DOJ seizing phone records of reporters from the Associated Press just gets worse and worse. I had asked in the immediate aftermath whether the DOJ had gotten a judicial subpoena or merely used an administrative one; the answer is the latter, which means no oversight at all from a judge. And …
May 18 2013
The Dearborn Arab International Festival has been the site of many clashes between the police and Christian evangelists who go there to preach to the mostly Muslim crowd. This has resulted in several arrests that ended in acquittals and lawsuits that vindicated the protesters and forced the city to apologize. But in one case from …