Archive for the ‘Supreme Court’ Category

220px-John_Brennan_CIA_official_portrait

Respectfully submitted by Lawrence E. Rafferty (rafflaw)-Weekend Contributor

It is unfortunately not surprising that anything that the CIA does should be considered suspect.  When the CIA recently came under fire for allegedly spying on Senate computers, no one, except the Senators who were spied on were surprised.  Now that Director John Brennan has completed his internal “investigation” into the matter, the truth has come out.  John Brennan says he and the CIA did nothing wrong! (more…)

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BEARDS-web-master180Supreme CourtA unanimous Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that a Muslim prison inmate in Arkansas, Gregory H. Holt (also known as Abdul Maalik Muhammad), can grow a short beard for religious reasons. The case is The case is Holt v. Hobbs, 13-6827. It represents a trifecta loss. The federal magistrate (Joe J. Volpe), the district court judge (Brian S. Miller), and the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit (Judges Bye, Arnold, and Shepherd) all ruled against Holt only to see a unanimous Supreme Court reject their reasoning. Justices Ginsburg and Sotomayor both wrote concurring opinions.

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175px-Linda_Greenhouse,_2005turley_jonathanThe ABA Journal has posted a podcast that I did with former New York Times journalist Linda Greenhouse on the Supreme Court. Greenhouse is currently the Joseph Goldstein Lecturer in Law and Knight Distinguished Journalist-in-Residence at Yale Law School.

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Respectfully submitted by Lawrence E. Rafferty (rafflaw) Weekend Contributor

The instances of reported abuse of our country’s laws by our Intelligence services seems never-ending.  The National Security Agency, or NSA is at the top of the list when it comes to violations of our laws and even its own rules and procedures that are allegedly designed to protect our privacy.

Pursuant to a court order in a case brought by the ACLU, the NSA is required to provide a list of its abuses on a quarterly basis.  Of course, the NSA redacts most of what it puts in its own disclosures. (more…)

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220px-John_Brennan_CIA_official_portrait

Respectfully submitted by Lawrence E. Rafferty (rafflaw)-Weekend Contributor

This past week’s news reports of the Senate report on the CIA Torture program were both distressing and enlightening.   I was dismayed to not only read what the full extent of the CIA’s Torture program was, but also when I read pundits and former CIA officials claim that rectal rehydration was merely a medical procedure! I was further discouraged when commenters on this blog made claims that waterboarding and other torture tactics were either necessary or what the devils deserved.

Very few pundits or commenters seem to care if the so-called Enhanced Interrogation techniques were legal or ethical when the CIA resorted to them shortly after 9/11.  This “debate” over the actions taken in our name by the CIA has gone from a report based on the CIA’s own words to denials that the techniques were torture, to claims that great intelligence value was gained using the torture and claims that it was a biased report written by Democrats. (more…)

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singleton_colorAssemblyman Troy Singleton (D-Mount Laurel) has introduced a controversial measure that would change the law in New Jersey to criminalize lies used to get someone to have sex. While such lies are notorious but common elements in many pickup situations, Singleton calls such acts as “rape by fraud.”

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800px-Capitol_Building_Full_ViewToday, we filed our complaint United States House of Representatives v. Burwell (Case 1:14-cv-01967), in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. The House’s complaint contains eight counts concerning constitutional and statutory violations of law related to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). There are a myriad of unilateral amendments to this Act, ordered by President Obama’s Administration, which could be the subject of a challenge, and there are a number of changes that are already being litigated, including King v. Burwell, which has been accepted by the Supreme Court for review. The House’s complaint, however, focuses on the Administration’s usurpation not only of the House’s Article I legislative authority, but also of the defining “power of purse.” Both of these powers were placed exclusively in Article I by the Framers of our Constitution. These constitutional and statutory claims are highly illustrative of the current conflict between the branches over the basic principles of the separation of powers. The House’s complaint seeks to reaffirm the clear constitutional lines of separation between the branches – a doctrine that is the very foundation of our constitutional system of government. To put it simply, the complaint focuses on the means rather than ends. The complaint is posted below.

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