By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor
Ruling on statutory grounds, Skagit County, Washington Superior Court Judge Raquel Montoya-Lewis held that a public hospital offering maternity services to women must also offer abortion services. Referring patients to Planned Parenthood, the court ruled, violates state law regarding abortion services provided to patients. The suit was brought on behalf of a plaintiff patient by the American Civil Liberties Union.
The fundamental conflict in the case litigated was ostensibly due to the defendant hospital district’s position that while agreeing to offer such services, it experienced difficulty in complying due to lack of health professionals willing to perform abortions. State law does allow heath care professionals to decline to perform voluntary abortions for personal reasons.
For other public hospital districts, the ACLU served notice requesting similar compliance with state law.
Continue reading “Judge Rules Public Hospitals Must Offer Abortion Services If They Offer Maternity Services”
By Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger
When the faceless analyzers locked deep inside the NSA finally get around to divining just how privacy died in this country they won’t start with Friday’s decision by Judge William Pauley, III in ACLU v. Clapper finding the NSA data mining of American’s communications perfectly constitutional or even go back to the horrible events of September 11, 2001 when fear ran freedom from the playing field. No, the truth is that privacy began to die farther back in an obscure case during the nation’s bicentennial year. As most of us were gathering up our red, white, and blue bunting, buying fireworks, and marveling at the first technological salvo of the commercial computer age known as The Cray-1 , a robbery case in Maryland would form the first cancerous cell in the assault on the body politic’s right to be left free from government snooping.
Continue reading “Privacy’s Postmortem: Smith v. Maryland And How A Pen Register Became A Threat To Freedom”
Submitted by Charlton Stanley (aka Otteray Scribe) Guest Blogger
First there was WikiLeaks, then there was Edward Snowden. The drip, drip, drip of information about secretive spy agencies continues. There have been bombshell revelations about the extent to which government agencies like the FBI, CIA, NSA and others are invading our most private communications. Of course, spies do what spies do, and that is to spy on whoever or whatever they can get away with. Few people understood the implications of PRISM when news of the program was leaked. Additionally, I suspect that despite revelations of its existence, the full extent of its capability and reach will never be known by the public.
The NSA reportedly paid tech companies millions of dollars to cover the cost of compliance with their “requests” for back-door access to the software package.
Another program to keep in mind is the FBI Stingray operation that sucks up wireless telephone communications. Last May, in the first litigation where the government admitted having Stingray, Arizona Federal District Judge David Campbell dismissed a motion to suppress. Judge Campbell is a George W. Bush appointee. PDF of his ruling is here. Last July, the ACLU filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit in the Northern District of California, in an effort to learn more about Stingray, and if it is scooping up domestic phone calls.
Continue reading “Encryption and the Spymasters: Is Privacy Dead?”