‘People Carry Their Entire Lives on Cell Phones’—Supreme Court Hears Arguments on Police Searches

By: Tuesday April 29, 2014 4:45 pm

The Supreme Court heard argument in two cases related to whether law enforcement must obtain a warrant to search a cell phone. In both cases, the justices seemed reluctant to impose a one-size-fits-all approach—either a prohibition on searches without a warrant or a categorical rule that would allow a search if it fit within a [...]

Obama Administration Argues in Favor of Right to Fire Public Employees Who Testify at Corruption Trials

By: Monday April 28, 2014 6:59 pm

The Supreme Court heard arguments today over whether public employee who testify under subpoena at public corruption trials should be protected by the First Amendment. The position of President Barack Obama’s administration appears to be that they should not be protected. The case is Lane v. Franks and it involves Edward Lane, who according to [...]

Supreme Court Declines to Hear Case That Would Have Challenged NSA Warrantless Surveillance of Lawyers

By: Tuesday March 4, 2014 11:15 am

Whether the warrantless surveillance program carried out by the National Security Agency (NSA) under President George W. Bush was legal is a question the United States Supreme Court is not going to answer. In a case very similar to a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) against warrantless surveillance made “legal” by [...]

New York Times Reporter James Risen, Fighting Obama Administration’s Attack on the Press, Turns to Supreme Court

By: Tuesday January 14, 2014 10:52 am

The Justice Department under President Barack Obama insists a journalist must testify against his source so they can prosecute and convict a former CIA officer for a leak. It has spent about six years trying to force him to testify, and now, having lost in an appeals court, he is taking his case to the [...]

Surveillance State Unchecked: Secret Spy Court Rejected Zero Requests in 2012

By: Thursday May 2, 2013 7:08 pm

An annual report to the United States Senate by the Justice Department shows the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court did not deny one single request made to the court by federal law enforcement. All applications to conduct electronic surveillance or “physical searches for foreign intelligence purposes” were granted. The report, signed off on by Principal Deputy [...]

Supreme Court Affirms Constitution Doesn’t Guarantee Citizens Access to Public Information

By: Tuesday April 30, 2013 10:57 am

The Supreme Court unanimously ruled on Monday that Virginia did not have to grant access to public records in the state to non-residents of Virginia under the state’s freedom of information law. The decision, according to SCOTUSblog, did not break any new ground. It did not “rely upon any sweeping new legal declaration, but simply [...]

Supreme Court: Police Dog Powers Do Not Include Warrantless Searches of a Person’s Home

By: Tuesday March 26, 2013 11:40 am

The Supreme Court has ruled in a 5-4 decision that when the government uses trained police dogs to investigate a home and its immediate surroundings it is a “search”  under the Fourth Amendment. The case involved the Miami-Dade Police Department and Drug Enforcement Administration responding to an “unverified tip that marijuana was being grown in [...]

Federal Appeals Court Hears Argument on Warrantless GPS Tracking

By: Tuesday March 19, 2013 2:25 pm

A federal appeals court is hearing argument over whether the government should have to obtain a warrant before using GPS tracking. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is in court to argue against warrantless GPS tracking. The case is US v. Katzin. As ACLU staff attorney Catherine Crump describes: In 2010, hoping to confirm their suspicion [...]

Supreme Court Rules Warrantless Wiretapping Law Cannot Be Challenged Without Proof of Secret Surveillance

By: Tuesday February 26, 2013 1:34 pm

In a lawsuit against a warrantless wiretapping law and filed on behalf of human rights attorneys, journalists and human rights and media organizations, the Supreme Court ruled the plaintiffs bringing the suit do not have standing for the lawsuit. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) brought the case alleging the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 [...]

Film Highlights Public Defenders Fighting Against Creation of Permanent Underclass

By: Thursday January 24, 2013 4:48 pm

An HBO documentary on the right that everyone has to a defense lawyer when they are charged with a crime, even if they cannot afford one, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. The film “Gideon’s Army,” was featured on “Democracy Now!” this morning. The film’s release coincides with the fifty-year anniversary of the Supreme Court [...]

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