Archive for the ‘Constitutional Law’ Category

-nH0ndOB_400x400There is an interesting case of free speech out of South Africa where Chester Missing has been gagged from sending out any more tweets or messages criticizing singer Steve Hofmeyr. The court order is based on the country’s hate speech laws, a continuation of a trend where free speech is being curtailed under antidiscrimination or hate speech laws. What is a bit different in this case is that Chester is a dummy . . . a real dummy . . . like a puppet dummy.

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125px-flag_of_malaysiasvg85px-Coat_of_arms_of_Malaysia.svgM. Indira Gandhi is a Hindu mother in Malaysia who is living a nightmare after her Muslim husband took her 11-month daughter after she refused to convert to Islam. The husband, who had only converted to Islam shortly before, then went to a Sharia court. The “court” refused to hear from the wife since she is not Muslim and ruled for her husband. She went to a real court, which ruled for her. However, it does not matter. It has been five years and the police in his largely Muslim nation have refused to enforce the real court order.

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milleryoungincident2 We have been following the controversy surrounding the confrontation of Feminist Studies Associate Professor Mireille Miller-Younga with pro-life advocates on campus. Miller-Young led her students in attacking the pro-life display, stealing their display, and then committing battery on one of the young women. Thrin Short, 16, and her sister Joan, 21, filed complaints and Miller-Young was charged with criminal conduct including Theft From Person; Battery; and Vandalism. Miller-Young was convicted and sentenced in August. Despite the shocking conduct of Miller-Young and the clear violation of the most fundamental values for all academics in guaranteeing free speech and associational rights, the faculty overwhelmingly supported Miller-Young and the university decided not to impose any meaningful discipline. Now, the victims are suing Miller-Young, the UC Regents and others in seeking both compensatory and punitive damages. The lawsuit could finally force the University to explain its inexplicable response, or lack thereof, to the highly improper conduct of Miller-Young. As discussed below, Michael D. Young, Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, not only issued a statement that seemed to blame the victims but faculty defended Miller-Young’s conduct, including arguments that the pro-life advocates were “terrorists”; Miller-Young’s response was due to that fact that she was pregnant and even that her expression of satisfaction was nothing more than her “mask” from a “cultural legacy of slavery.” Those arguments are likely to find little traction in a court of law.

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By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

scales_of_justiceThe Washington Supreme Court ruled it is a violation of Due Process to require a rape defendant to prove lack of consent in rape trials, shifting the burden to the state. The opinion reverses decades old practices of the courts and by extensions investigators of such crimes to include elements showing lack of consent that were previously assumed based on the statements and evidence of alleged victims.

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Supreme CourtThe Supreme Court has decided to wade back into the controversy over the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or “Obamacare” today with the granting of review of King v. Burwell, No. 14-114. I have previously written about the King case as well as the parallel case in the D.C. Circuit in Halbig.

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alfredbrownhcsoThe Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has thrown out a 2005 conviction and death sentence that week based on the misconduct of prosecutor in the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. The court found that prosecutors withheld material evidence favorable to Brown’s case in a denial of a fair trial.

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220px-Lewes_Bonfire,_discarded_torchWe have previously discussed the scourge of blasphemy laws, particularly in Muslim nations, used to punish and even execute people with differing views of religion. We have a deeply disturbing new case outside of Lahore, Pakistan where a Christian couple was accused of desecrating the Koran (Quran), beaten by a mob, and then burnt in a brick kiln where they worked. The couple, known only as Shama and Shehzad, were killed at the behest of a local Muslim mullah in Kot Radha Kishan, some 60 kilometres from Lahore.

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