Archive for the ‘Constitutional Law’ Category

10409231_707381359356504_6530552318647936744_n-640x853There is another controversy raising the increasing assertion of authority of school officials over pictures and statements made by students outside of school. In Massachusetts, Jamie Pereira was suspended from school after a photo of her and her boyfriend, Tito Velez, both 16, holding Airsoft rifles was posted on Facebook. A caption beneath the photograph read: “Homecoming 2014.” The picture looks like a new American Gothic for some and a threat to others. However, the controversy again raises the limits and discretion of school officials in monitoring speech outside of school for students and teachers alike. There was good reason to be concerned but the punishment was due to the disruption caused rather than an actual threat from the picture.

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Twitter Logo200px-Coat_of_arms_of_Saudi_Arabia.svgDespite claims from the government (outside of Saudi Arabia) that it is seeking to modernize its legal system, the Sharia-based Saudi system continues to churn out abuses that shock the conscience. The latest victims are three lawyers who have been jailed for Tweets denouncing the Saudi court system — widely ridiculed by lawyers around the world as a medieval anachronism.

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ICS_Lima.svgebolaThere appears to be a race by politicians to show who is more serious about Ebola by imposing greater and greater restrictions on anyone suspected of being a carrier. It now appears that we may have our first court challenge to these limitations and there are viable claims to be made. The American Civil Liberties Union is acting on behalf of a nurse, Kaci Hickox, who has been under quarantine after she arrived at Newark International Airport. I will be discussing the case on CNN this afternoon with Wolf Blitzer.

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By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

scales_of_justiceThe Washington Supreme Court heard an appeal brought by attorneys representing the internet website backpage.com resulting from a lower court ruling allowing the trial to proceed against the site for allegations that it assisted child sex traffickers to lure children toward sexual exploitation in the state. The argument primarily rests on whether backpage.com can claim immunity under the Communications Decency Act, Title 47 USC 230. The respondents, three unnamed child victims, argued that backpage.com created an environment and construed posting rules that guided alleged sex traffickers and those offering adult services to evade law enforcement and other sanctions, thereby assuming the role of a developer of content which would exempt backpage.com from immunity under the CDA.

The case is being monitored for its potential implications on the freedom of websites to host content from subscribers without being subject to undue liability in the strict sense and the limits to which websites can be responsible. Amicus briefs were filed by interests such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and the National Center For Missing and Exploited Children

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By Mark Esposito, Weekend Blogger

I have been reading about the latest Breitbart-inspired dire prediction of the nefarious ( and possibly illegal) machinations of the Obama Administration. You know “Green Paper-Gate.” It’s the one where the conservative blog, Breitbart,  reports that a draft solicitation proposal for purchase of green paper issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services definitely means that the Obama Administration is secretly planning a massive amnesty campaign of undocumented aliens. And, worse still,  that it’s keeping that secret until after the mid-term elections as a boon to Democratic candidates. I went back and took a look at the proposal and here is the offending language: “The requirement is for an estimated 4 million cards annually with the potential to buy as many as 34 million cards total. The ordering periods for this requirement shall be for a total of five (5) years.” A draft RFP issued a few days later contains the same language but adds the following: “In addition, the Contractor shall demonstrate the capability to support potential “surge” in PRC and EAD card demand for up to 9M cards during the initial period of performance to support possible future immigration reform initiative requirements.” You can view the proposal (here) and the RFP (here) and then read all the GSA bureaucratic verbiage for yourself. Have a good time.

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holderericThere is a new release out of Judicial Watch, which has been meeting with success in its effort to defeat extreme privilege assertions by the Obama Administration in seeking records related to the infamous Operation Fast and Furious. The Obama Administration has been repeatedly criticized for expansive claims of presidential power and privilege. I have been one of those critics. A federal court has expressed growing impatience and even anger with the Administration’s claims and obstruction — recently ordering production of evidence over the vehement objections of the Justice Department. However, nothing likely prepared them for what they claim is the privileges asserted on the “Vaughn index” produced by the Justice Department. The Administration is now reserving the claim of executive privilege over emails between Attorney General Holder and his wife Sharon Malone – as well as his mother. That’s right, executive privilege over communications with your family. It captures the lack of any sense of limitation or logic to the Obama Administration’s view of presidential power, which now overshadows the claims not just of George W. Bush but Richard Nixon.

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We have previously discussed the outrageous case of Asia Bibi who is the latest victim of a death sentence under the medieval Sharia law system imposed in Muslim countries — sentenced to death for insulting Mohammad. Now, a court in Lahore upheld the verdict and affirmed the death sentence for the 50-year-old motion of five. She said that her nightmare began when she took a drink of water from a bucket being used by Muslim women. As a Christian, she was viewed as unclean and the women assailed her and later accused her of saying something insulting to Mohammad. Not only did leading Muslim clerics in Pakistan support her execution but one offered a reward for any faithful Muslim to murder her.

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