Archive for the ‘Constitutional Law’ Category

AR-150309877We have previously discussed the common criminalization of speech found in Muslim countries (and the increasing criminalization seen in the West). The most recent victim is Ryan Pate, a civilian helicopter mechanic who was arrested for a derogatory comments made on Facebook in the United States toward his employer in the United Arab Emirates, Global Aerospace Logistics. After he returned to the United Arab Emirates, he was promptly arrested at the request of the company. This again is one of our closest allies that denies the basic protections of free speech not only to its citizens but even to Americans speaking in the United States.

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michelle-carter-conrad-roy-iii-charged-with-manslaughter-for-urging-teen-boys-suicide-leadmichelle-carter-conrad-roy-iii-charged-with-manslaughter-for-urging-teen-boys-suicide-leadThere is a deeply troubling case out of Massachusetts where prosecutors have charged Michelle Carter, 18, with the death of Conrad Roy, 18. What is different about the case is that there is no dispute that Roy killed himself. Carter is being charged for text messages encouraging Roy to go through with the suicide. If true, Carter played a despicable role in this death but the question is whether it should be treated as a crime when it was Roy who made the decision and took the action to take his own life. I have previously written how such cases should be handled by civil litigation as a general rule.

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Avijit_RoyAnother blogger has fallen victim to Islamic extremists. Avijit Roy, a Bangladesh-born U.S. citizen, was hacked to death during a walk with his wife in Dhaka as both were returning from a book fair at Dhaka University. How did he insult Islam? No, it wasn’t a cartoon or a satirical poem. He wrote about religious intolerance so they hacked him to death.

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Congressional SealSeal_of_the_President_of_the_United_States.svgThe Obama Administration previously filed its Motion to Dismiss in the challenge by the United States House of Representatives v. Burwell. As many of you know, I am lead counsel in the action. The Obama Administration is seeking to block the court from hearing the merits of our Complaint and below is our filing today in defense of the right of the House of Representatives to be heard in the federal court. The case is before Judge Rosemary M. Collyer of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.

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department-of-justice-logo1Zimmermanx-inset-communityYesterday, the Justice Department closed the book on the George Zimmerman case with the announcement that it will not file federal civil rights charges. When Attorney General Eric Holder ordered in federal investigators soon after the shooting of Trayvon Martin, some (including myself) questioned the legal basis for entering the case based on the still developing evidence. The Justice Department usually allows state or city prosecutors and police to finish their investigation before entry into a case. Holder was viewed as responding to political pressure in ordering the premature entry in the case. That investigation will now end shortly before Holder leaves his very controversial tenure as Attorney General.

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220px-Sheikh_Sabah_IVMusallam al-Barrak, an outspoken former member of the Kuwaiti parliament, appears to have his answer. Al-Barrak appealed to Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah (right) in a 2012 speech not to impose “autocratic rule.” He was later arrested and has now been sentenced to five years in jail.

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220px-Juliana_Tea_Party170px-Ministry_of_Interior_Saudi_Arabia.svgIn Saudi Arabia, the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice is a religious police force that has been a constant presence in the Kingdom arresting woman having coffee with colleagues or forcing young girls to burn to death in fire rather than run out without their scarves. Then there was the time that the religious police in Dammam marched into a popular dinosaur exhibit and shut it down without any explanation of why the dinosaurs threatened the virtue of good Muslims. Then there was the flogging of a women who insulted them. Then there are the round ups of religious people for simply praying at home. Then there is the arrest of a man for standing in line with his wife at a grocery store. The list goes on and on. The latest entry is the arrest of young men for simply dancing at a birthday party. Birthday parties have been denounced by Saudi clerics as unIslamic, but this the first such arrest that many can recall that did not involve dancing with women.

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