Cyborg | Designer-Babies | Futurism | Futurist | Immortality | Longevity | Nanotechnology | Post-Human | Singularity | Transhuman



Kabul Suicide Bomb Kills 3 NATO Troops In Afghanistan
The attack happened in an area close to a U.S. military base, the U.S. Embassy in Kabul and the Afghanistan Supreme Court. Follow Cliff Judy: http://www.twit…

By: Newsy World

See the rest here:
Kabul Suicide Bomb Kills 3 NATO Troops In Afghanistan – Video

WE ARE, as it always seems, at a pivotal moment in American history. At least thats what Sens. Tom Udall and Bernie Sanders maintained in a melodramatic Politico column recently as they explained their efforts to repeal the First Amendment.

Let me retort in their language:Its true that building the United States has been long, arduous and rife with setbacks. But throughout the years, the American people have repelled efforts to weaken or dismantle the First Amendment. We have weathered the Sedition Act of 1918, a law that led to the imprisonment of innocent Americans who opposed the war or the draft. Since then, we have withstood many efforts to hamper, chill and undermine basic free expression in the name of patriotism. We have, however, allowed elected officials to treat citizens as if they were children by arbitrarily imposing strict limits on their free speech in the name of fairness.But nowadays, after five members of the Supreme Court upheld the First Amendment and treated all political speech equally, liberal activists and Democrats in the Senate would have us return to a time when government dispensed speech to favored institutions as if it were the governments to give.

In 2010, the Supreme Court issued a 5-4 opinion striking down major parts of a 2002 campaign-finance reform law in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. This case and subsequent rulings, including McCutcheon v. FEC, have led to more political activism and more grass-roots engagement than ever before. In the 2012 presidential election, we quickly saw the results.

More Americans voted than in any election; more minorities voted; more Americans engaged in more debate and had more information in their hands than ever before. More than 60 percent of all those super PAC funds came from just 159 donors, each of whom gave more than $1 million. And still, every vote held the same sway. You may be convinced by someone, but no one can buy your vote. I wish the same could be said for your senators.

Even less worrisome is the propaganda surrounding scary-sounding dark money dollars spent by groups that do not have to disclose their funding sources. The 2012 elections saw almost $300 million spent on engagement in our democratic institutions, and the 2014 midterm elections could see as much as $1 billion invested in political debate. That means more democratization of media and more challenges to a media infrastructure that once managed what news we were allowed to consume. Still, no one can buy your vote.

No single issue is more important to the needs of average Americans than upholding the Constitution over the vagaries of contemporary political life. The people elected to office should be responsive to the needs of their constituents. They should also be prepared to be challenged. But mostly, they should uphold their oath to protect the Constitution rather than find ways to undermine it.

When the Supreme Court finds, for purposes of the First Amendment, that corporations are people, that writing checks from the companys bank account is constitutionally protected speech and that attempts to impose coercive restrictions on political debate are unconstitutional, we realize that we live in a republic that isnt always fair but is, for the most part, always free.

Americans right to free speech should not be proportionate to their political power. This is why its vital to stop senators from imposing capricious limits on Americans.

It is true that 16 states and the District of Columbia, along with more than 500 cities and towns, have passed resolutions calling on Congress to reinstitute restriction on free speech. Polls consistently show that the majority of Americans support the abolishment of super PACs. So its important to remember that one of the many reasons the Founding Fathers offered us the Constitution was to offer a bulwark against democracy. Senators may have an unhealthy obsession with the democratic process, and Supreme Court justices are on the bench for life for that very reason.

Last week, Democrats offered an amendment to repeal the First Amendment in an attempt to protect their own political power. Whiny senators most of them patrons to corporate power and special interests engaged in one of the most cynical abuses of their power in recent memory. Those who treat Americans as if they were hapless proles unable to withstand the power of a television commercial are the ones who fear speech. Thats not what the American republic is all about.

Read this article:
David Harsanyi The senators who really threaten America

Like my co-blogger Will Baude, I was very interested in the Ninth Circuits recent case, United States v. Dreyer, suppressing evidence as a violation of the Posse Comitatus Act. I think the case is interesting because it demonstrates a view of the exclusionary rule that I havent seen in a while.

First, some history. Back in the the middle of the 20th Century, the federal courts often found ways to impose an exclusionary rule for statutory violations in federal court. For example, in Nardone v. United States, 302 U. S. 379 (1937) (Nardone I) and Nardone v. United States, 308 U.S. 338 (1939) (Nardone II), the Supreme Court adopted an exclusionary rule for violations of the Communications Act. In McNabb v. United States, 318 U.S. 332 (1943), the Court adopted an exclusionary rule for violations of Rule 5 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. The Court had a rather free-form approach to the exclusionary rule at the time, in part because suppression was seen as the judiciarys domain. The federal courts had an inherent power to control evidence in their own cases, so the Court could be creative in fashioning what evidence could come in to deter bad conduct. If the government did something really bad, the federal courts had the power to keep the evidence out to deter violations and maintain the integrity of the courts.

By the 1980s, after Warren Court revolution, the Supreme Court had a different view of the exclusionary rule. The scope of the rule had expanded dramatically when it was incorporated and applied to the states. But as a kind of tradeoff for that expansion, the Court cut back on the free-form approach outside core constitutional violations. The Burger and Rehnquist Courts saw suppression as a doctrine that had to be rooted in deterrence of constitutional violations and not just something that courts didnt like or found offensive.

In his post, Will points out a passage from Sanchez-Llamas v. Oregon to that effect. And I would add the earlier case of United States v. Payner, 447 U.S. 727 (1980), in which investigators had intentionally violated one persons Fourth Amendment rights to get evidence they were holding of the suspects crimes. The Sixth Circuit had suppressed the evidence on the basis of the federal courts supervisory power to punish the blatant abuse even though the suspect did not have Fourth Amendment standing to object to the violation. The Supreme Court reversed, blocking courts from using the supervisory power as an end-run around the limits of Fourth Amendment doctrine.

The new Ninth Circuit case, Dreyer, strikes me as a vestige of the mid-20th century free-form view of the exclusionary rule. The lower courts in the 1960s and 1970s had a few areas where they rejected suppression outside of constitutional law but recognized the hypothetical possibility that they might suppress evidence if the facts were particularly egregious. For example, a bunch of circuits held that the Fourth Amendment does not regulate evidence collection by foreign governments not acting in coordination with the U.S., but that they would suppress evidence if the foreign government conduct shocked the conscience. See, e.g., Birdsell v. United States, 346 F.2d 775, 782 n. 10 (5th Cir. 1965); United States v. Cotroni, 527 F.2d 708, 712 n. 10 (2d Cir. 1975). But see United States v. Mount, 757 F.2d 1315, 1320 (D.C. Cir. 1985) (Bork, J., concurring) (arguing based on Payner that lower courts lack supervisory powers to impose an exclusionary rule for searches by foreign governments). The caselaw was never reviewed in the Supreme Court, however, perhaps because those egregious circumstances were not found and the evidence wasnt actually suppressed.

Violations of the Posse Comitatus Act, the issue in the new decision, provides another example. The history seems to run like this. First, in the 1970s, a few courts applied the free-form approach to the exclusionary rule and left open the possibility that violations of the Posse Comitatus Act could lead to exclusion if it were necessary to deter violations. See, e.g.,United States v. Walden, 490 F.2d 372, 37677 (4th Cir. 1974); State v. Danko, 219 Kan. 490 (1976). When the Ninth Circuit reached the issue in 1986, the panel did not focus on the Supreme Courts then-new more skeptical approach to the exclusionary rule. Instead, the Ninth Circuit expanded on the 1970s lower-court cases, indicating that the exclusionary rule would be necessary for violations of the Act if a need to deter future violations is demonstrated. United States v. Roberts, 779 F.2d 565, 568 (9th Cir. 1986). Again, though, this was just a possibility, and the issue was never reviewed.

Dreyer picks up that 28-year-old invitation and concludes that the need has finally been demonstrated and that the exclusionary rule therefore must be applied. Dreyer cites Roberts, which in turn cited Walden. So on its face, the court is at least drawing on precedent.

But it seems to me that Dreyer is very vulnerable if DOJ thinks it is worth challenging in the Supreme Court. Dreyer appears to rely on a line of thinking about the exclusionary rule that the Supreme Court has long ago rejected. Of course, we can debate the normative question of how the Justices should approach the exclusionary rule, either in the context of constitutional violations or statutory violations. But just as a predictive matter, I suspect that todays Court would have a different view of the question than the circuit court cases from the 1970s on which the Ninth Circuits Dreyer decision ultimately relies.

Orin Kerr is the Fred C. Stevenson Research Professor at The George Washington University Law School, where he has taught since 2001. He teaches and writes in the area of criminal procedure and computer crime law.

Go here to see the original:
Volokh Conspiracy: The posse comitatus case and changing views of the exclusionary rule

Sep 152014

As election season enters full swing, Senate Democrats are taking the opportunity to garner votes by attempting to rewrite the Bill of Rights, something that hasnt been done since those rights were enshrined. They want to ask the nation to change the First Amendment so that it protects political speech only up to a point.

The timing is right. Nationally eight Senate races have already received more than $10 million each in outside spending, according to the Federal Election Commission. In Michigan, huge amounts of outside money have flooded into the race between Rep. Gary Peters and former Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land.

The group of senators supporting such a drastic move know it will never pass the extensive process needed to amend the Constitution. But it gives them an opportunity to try to convince Americans once again that corporations and wealthy individuals who give money to political candidates or campaigns should be stripped of their fundamental right to free speech.

The move is blatantly hypocritical, since the supporting senators have all received huge donations themselves. But it is unfortunately the logical end of the flawed Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (commonly known as McCain-Feingold) signed into law under former President George W. Bush.

The Supreme Court has upheld the principle that the First Amendment guarantees freedom of speech to individuals, organizations and even corporations, and that dedicating time and money to political candidates and causes is protected speech.

Though there are limits on what amount an individual can give to any one political candidate, most other extreme limitations on spending and speech have been struck down by the court.

As much as this debate has already focused on Republican donors chiefly the Koch brothers, who fund mega-PACs such as Americans for Prosperity, Heritage Action and others Democrats benefit from huge campaign donations as much, if not more.

Climate change activist Tom Steyer has given more than $20 million to support Democratic candidates in this election cycle. Hes followed by former New York Mayor and gun control activist Michael Bloomberg, who has given more than $9 million this year, almost entirely to liberal groups.

Both sides take money from rich people and corporations. And certainly it would be nice if there were less money in politics.

But the Constitution does not permit politicians to place arbitrary restrictions on speech. Protecting the First Amendment should not give way to those so determined to gain a partisan edge that they are willing to rewrite the fundamental rights of Americans.

See more here:
Free speech needs no amending

New Hampshires Constitution Day essay contest is right around the corner, and some Nashua students are taking on the competition as a part of their social studies classes. The contest is hosted by The Telegraph and six other newspapers and the states court system. Essay topics put contemporary issues within a constitutional context. This years this question asks to students address the conflicts between cyberbullying and First Amendment rights.

Fairgrounds Middle School has been home to the two previous grades 5-8 statewide essay winners, Suhaas Katikaneni in 2013 and Benjamin Swain in 2012. Fairgrounds incorporats the contest into its fall curriculum. … Subscribe or log in to read more

New Hampshires Constitution Day essay contest is right around the corner, and some Nashua students are taking on the competition as a part of their social studies classes. The contest is hosted by The Telegraph and six other newspapers and the states court system. Essay topics put contemporary issues within a constitutional context. This years this question asks to students address the conflicts between cyberbullying and First Amendment rights.

Fairgrounds Middle School has been home to the two previous grades 5-8 statewide essay winners, Suhaas Katikaneni in 2013 and Benjamin Swain in 2012. Fairgrounds incorporats the contest into its fall curriculum.

The three levels in the middle school, all the social studies teachers, are all participating, said Fairgrounds teacher Ralph Sommese. Sommese is an eighth grade social studies teacher and social studies curriculum liaison for Fairgrounds Middle School to the district.

Sommese said student interest in the contest varies depending on student age and the essay topic.

I know the sixth graders really get into it. The eighth graders are this year because of the topic theyre really interested, he said. In preparing the kids, we take them to the library to do research. I go over Supreme Court cases related to the idea of First Amendment freedom of speech topics. We also go into setting up the essay itself, he said.

Although Sommese said cyberbullying wasnt specifically a problem at the school as far as he knew, staff discusses bullying in general with students. On our team in eighth grade we do a character education piece that deals with bullying. We have speakers come in for it, he said.

Students interested in the contest can submit essays to Constitution Day contest, attn: Phil Kincade, Nashua Telegraph, 17 Executive Drive, Hudson, NH 03051. The deadline for entries this year is October 6. After that, each newspaper will select one local winner from grades 5-8 and one winner from grades 9-12. From the local winners, the state Supreme Court will select one statewide winner from each group. Local and state winners are invited to the Supreme Court, and state winners are also invited to the annual First Amendment Awards presented by the Nackey S. Loeb School of Communications of Manchester.

This years essay prompt:

View post:
Students study First Amendment for Constitution Day essay contest

Sep 112014

The point of this “improvement” of James Madison’s First Amendment is to reverse the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision. It left in place the ban on corporate contributions to candidates. It said only that Americans do not forfeit their speech rights when they band together to express themselves on political issues through corporations, which they generally do through nonprofit advocacy corporations.

Shutterstock.com

Enlarge photo

WASHINGTON Since Barry Goldwater, accepting the Republicans’ 1964 presidential nomination, said “extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice,” Democrats have been decrying Republican “extremism.” Actually, although there is abundant foolishness and unseemliness in American politics, real extremism measures or movements that menace the Constitution’s architecture of ordered liberty is rare. This week, however, extremism stained the Senate.

Forty-eight members of the Democratic caucus attempted to do something never previously done amend the Bill of Rights. They tried to radically shrink First Amendment protection of political speech. They evidently think extremism in defense of the political class’s convenience is no vice.

The First Amendment as the First Congress passed it, and the states ratified it 223 years ago, says: “Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech.” The 48 senators understand that this is incompatible by its plain text, and in light of numerous Supreme Court rulings with their desire to empower Congress and state legislatures to determine the permissible quantity, content and timing of political speech. Including, of course, speech by and about members of Congress and their challengers as well as persons seeking the presidency or state offices.

The 48 senators proposing to give legislators speech-regulating powers describe their amendment in anodyne language, as “relating to contributions and expenditures intended to affect elections.” But what affects elections is speech, and the vast majority of contributions and expenditures are made to disseminate speech. The Democrats’ amendment says: “Congress and the states may regulate and set reasonable limits on the raising and spending of money by candidates and others to influence elections,” and may “prohibit” corporations including nonprofit issue advocacy corporations (such as the Sierra Club, NARAL Pro-Choice America and thousands of others across the political spectrum) from spending any money “to influence elections,” which is what most of them exist to do.

Because all limits will be set by incumbent legislators, the limits deemed “reasonable” will surely serve incumbents’ interests. The lower the limits, the more valuable will be the myriad (and unregulated) advantages of officeholders.

The point of this “improvement” of James Madison’s First Amendment is to reverse the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision. It left in place the ban on corporate contributions to candidates. It said only that Americans do not forfeit their speech rights when they band together to express themselves on political issues through corporations, which they generally do through nonprofit advocacy corporations.

Floyd Abrams, among the First Amendment’s most distinguished defenders, notes that the proposed amendment deals only with political money that funds speech. That it would leave political speech less protected than pornography, political protests at funerals, and Nazi parades. That by aiming to equalize the political influence of persons and groups, it would reverse the 1976 Buckley decision joined by such champions of free expression as Justices William Brennan, Thurgood Marshall and Potter Stewart. The one reason President Harry Truman vetoed the 1947 Taft-Hartley Act was that he considered its ban on corporations and unions making independent expenditures to affect federal elections a “dangerous intrusion on free speech.” And that no Fortune 100 corporation “appears to have contributed even a cent to any of the 10 highest-grossing super PACs in either the 2010, 2012 or 2014 election cycles.”

Read the original here:
Extremism in defense of re-election

Chris Gautz – Money talks when it comes to politics. Oftentimes, quietly. And that's OK by the U.S. Supreme Court, which deems money a form of free speech.As the cacophony of election-season advertising gets into full swing in Michigan, there is plenty of free speech to go around. It's just not always clear who is doing the talking. The laws governing transparency with money in politics have …

Originally posted here:
Money talks in the shadows: How lawmakers, lobbyists quietly bypass state's murky political spending rules

The Kansas Supreme Court has upheld a Wyandotte County district court’s dismissal of indictments against an attorney for the Board of Public Utilities of Kansas City, Kan.

The high court overturned a Court of Appeals reversal, agreeing with the district court that Robert Turner’s constitutional right against self-incrimination had been violated during the grand jury proceedings.

A citizen-called grand jury in 2008 indicted Turner on two counts of theft and 55 counts of presenting a false claim, which was based on nonitemized vouchers totaling about $400,000 he submitted for work he did for BPU.

The grand jury had been called to look into allegations of misappropriation of public funds by directors of BPU, an arm of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County.

It was during testimony before the grand jury that William Delaney a special agent of the Kansas Bureau of Investigation who was assigned to serve as the investigator for the grand jury made repeated suggestions that Turner was somehow involved in the 1989 unsolved murder of Chuck Thompson, a Kansas City, Kan., politician and lawyer.

Delaney told jurors he had been investigating the case for years, and that he would be asking questions of people he thought were involved during the BPU probe.

The grand jury subpoenaed Turner, who gave notice in advance that he would invoke his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. Delaney questioned him anyway, asking questions related not just to the BPU probe but also the Thompson murder. Turner, court records show, addressed about 100 or more questions by invoking his right against self-incrimination.

The district court, on appeal, ruled that Delaney’s continual leading questioning and remarks to jurors suggesting that Turner’s silence meant he had something to hide were prejudicial to Turner, and dismissed the indictments.

The Court of Appeals overturned the decision, saying a person can be compelled to appear before a grand jury and be asked questions to which he can invoke constitutional protections on a question-by-question basis. The appeals court said Turner had not demonstrated that he was prejudiced by Delaney’s methods.

The Supreme Court disagreed.

Go here to see the original:
Kansas Supreme Court: Grand jury violated man's Fifth Amendment rights

Sep 052014

Fourth Amendment:Searches and SeizuresWhat is the Fourth Amendment?The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.The Fourth Amendment Defined:Like the majority of fields within American law, the Fourth Amendment is heavily rooted in the English legal doctrine. In a general sense, the Fourth Amendment was created to limit the power of the government and their ability to enforce legal actions on individuals. The Fourth Amendment was adopted as a direct response to the abuse of the writ of assistance, which was a type of general search warrant used by the government during the American Revolution. The Amendment was created to limit the powers of the law enforcement agency who is conducting a search of an individuals personal property.The Fourth Amendment is a part of the Bill of Rights, which are the first 10 Amendments to the United States Constitution and the framework to elucidate upon the freedoms of the individual. The Bill of Rights were proposed and sent to the states by the first session of the First Congress. They were later ratified on December 15, 1791.The first 10 Amendments to the United States Constitution were introduced by James Madison as a series of legislative articles and came into effect as Constitutional Amendments following the process of ratification by three-fourths of the States on December 15, 1791.Stipulations of the 4th AmendmentThe Fourth Amendment guards against the governments ability to conduct unreasonable search and seizures when the individual party being searched has a reasonable exception of privacy.The Fourth Amendment specifically requires a law enforcement agency to possess judicially sanctioned search and arrest warrants, which are supported by probable clause, to be administered before a persons property can be inspected.The Fourth Amendment ties in numerous limitations whereby an individual may be searched without a warrant given the presence of certain circumstances. The individuals property may be searched and seized if: The individual is on parole or in a tax hearing, faces deportation, the evidence is seized from a common carrier, the evidence is collected by U.S. customs agents, the evidence is seized by probation officers, the evidence is seized outside of the United States, or probable cause is evident.Court Cases tied into the 4th AmendmentIn Mapp v. Ohio, the Supreme Court ruled that the Fourth Amendment is enforceable and should be applied to all states in the Union by way of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Additionally, the Supreme Court ruled that certain searches and seizures were in direct violation of the Fourth Amendment even when a warrant was properly issued to the coordinating law enforcement agencies.State Timeline for Ratification of the Bill of RightsNew Jersey:November 20, 1789; rejected article IIMaryland:December 19, 1789; approved allNorth Carolina:December 22, 1789; approved allSouth Carolina: January 19, 1790; approved allNew Hampshire: January 25, 1790; rejected article IIDelaware: January 28, 1790; rejected article INew York: February 27, 1790; rejected article IIPennsylvania: March 10, 1790; rejected article IIRhode Island: June 7, 1790; rejected article IIVermont: November 3, 1791; approved allVirginia: December 15, 1791; approved all

Fourth Amendment:Searches and Seizures

What is the Fourth Amendment? The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

The Fourth Amendment Defined: Like the majority of fields within American law, the Fourth Amendment is heavily rooted in the English legal doctrine. In a general sense, the Fourth Amendment was created to limit the power of the government and their ability to enforce legal actions on individuals. The Fourth Amendment was adopted as a direct response to the abuse of the writ of assistance, which was a type of general search warrant used by the government during the American Revolution. The Amendment was created to limit the powers of the law enforcement agency who is conducting a search of an individuals personal property.

The Fourth Amendment is a part of the Bill of Rights, which are the first 10 Amendments to the United States Constitution and the framework to elucidate upon the freedoms of the individual. The Bill of Rights were proposed and sent to the states by the first session of the First Congress. They were later ratified on December 15, 1791.

The first 10 Amendments to the United States Constitution were introduced by James Madison as a series of legislative articles and came into effect as Constitutional Amendments following the process of ratification by three-fourths of the States on December 15, 1791.

Stipulations of the 4th Amendment The Fourth Amendment guards against the governments ability to conduct unreasonable search and seizures when the individual party being searched has a reasonable exception of privacy.

The Fourth Amendment specifically requires a law enforcement agency to possess judicially sanctioned search and arrest warrants, which are supported by probable clause, to be administered before a persons property can be inspected.

The Fourth Amendment ties in numerous limitations whereby an individual may be searched without a warrant given the presence of certain circumstances. The individuals property may be searched and seized if: The individual is on parole or in a tax hearing, faces deportation, the evidence is seized from a common carrier, the evidence is collected by U.S. customs agents, the evidence is seized by probation officers, the evidence is seized outside of the United States, or probable cause is evident.Court Cases tied into the 4th Amendment In Mapp v. Ohio, the Supreme Court ruled that the Fourth Amendment is enforceable and should be applied to all states in the Union by way of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Additionally, the Supreme Court ruled that certain searches and seizures were in direct violation of the Fourth Amendment even when a warrant was properly issued to the coordinating law enforcement agencies.State Timeline for Ratification of the Bill of Rights New Jersey:November 20, 1789; rejected article II

Maryland:December 19, 1789; approved all

Excerpt from:
4th Amendment – Laws.com

Fifth Amendment,amendment (1791) to the Constitution of the United States, part of the Bill of Rights, that articulates procedural safeguards designed to protect the rights of the criminally accused and to secure life, liberty, and property. For the text of the Fifth Amendment, see below.

Similar to the First Amendment, the Fifth Amendment is divided into five clauses, representing five distinct, yet related, rights. The first clause specifies that [n]o person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger. This grand jury provision requires a body to make a formal presentment or indictment of a person accused of committing a crime against the laws of the federal government. The proceeding is not a trial but rather an ex parte hearing (i.e., one in which only one party, the prosecution, presents evidence) to determine if the government has enough evidence to carry a case to trial. If the grand jury finds sufficient evidence that an offense was committed, it issues an indictment, which then permits a trial. The portion of the clause pertaining to exceptions in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia is a corollary to Article I, Section 8, which grants Congress the power [t]o make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces. Combined, they justify the use of military courts for the armed forces, thus denying military personnel the same procedural rights afforded civilians.

The second section is commonly referred to as the double jeopardy clause, and it protects citizens against a second prosecution after an acquittal or a conviction, as well as against multiple punishments for the same offense. Caveats to this provision include permissions to try persons for civil and criminal aspects of an offense, conspiring to commit as well as to commit an offense, and separate trials for acts that violate laws of both the federal and state governments, although federal laws generally suppress prosecution by the national government if a person is convicted of the same crime in a state proceeding.

The third section is commonly referred to as the self-incrimination clause, and it protects persons accused of committing a crime from being forced to testify against themselves. In the U.S. judicial system a person is presumed innocent, and it is the responsibility of the state (or national government) to prove guilt. Like other pieces of evidence, once presented, words can be used powerfully against a person; however, words can be manipulated in a way that many other objects cannot. Consequently, information gained from sobriety tests, police lineups, voice samples, and the like is constitutionally permissible while evidence gained from compelled testimony is not. As such, persons accused of committing crimes are protected against themselves or, more accurately, how their words may be used against them. The clause, therefore, protects a key aspect of the system as well as the rights of the criminally accused.

The fourth section is commonly referred to as the due process clause. It protects life, liberty, and property from impairment by the federal government. (The Fourteenth Amendment, ratified in 1868, protects the same rights from infringement by the states.) Chiefly concerned with fairness and justice, the due process clause seeks to preserve and protect fundamental rights and ensure that any deprivation of life, liberty, or property occurs in accordance with procedural safeguards. As such, there are both substantive and procedural considerations associated with the due process clause, and this has influenced the development of two separate tracks of due process jurisprudence: procedural and substantive. Procedural due process pertains to the rules, elements, or methods of enforcementthat is, its procedural aspects. Consider the elements of a fair trial and related Sixth Amendment protections. As long as all relevant rights of the accused are adequately protectedas long as the rules of the game, so to speak, are followedthen the government may, in fact, deprive a person of his life, liberty, or property. But what if the rules are not fair? What if the law itselfregardless of how it is enforcedseemingly deprives rights? This raises the controversial spectre of substantive due process rights. It is not inconceivable that the content of the law, regardless of how it is enforced, is itself repugnant to the Constitution because it violates fundamental rights. Over time, the Supreme Court has had an on-again, off-again relationship with liberty-based due process challenges, but it has generally abided by the principle that certain rights are implicit in the concept of ordered liberty (Palko v. Connecticut [1937]), and as such they are afforded constitutional protection. This, in turn, has led to the expansion of the meaning of the term liberty. What arguably began as freedom from restraint has transformed into a virtual cornucopia of rights reasonably related to enumerated rights, without which neither liberty nor justice would exist. For example, the right to an abortion, established in Roe v. Wade (1973), grew from privacy rights, which emerged from the penumbras of the constitution.

Read more:
Fifth Amendment (United States Constitution …

One of the major cases next year in the Supreme Court is about the First Amendment, free speech and Facebook, and the Justices decision could hinge on their understanding and interpretation of rap music lyrics.

Link:
Rap lyrics part of First Amendment case coming to the Supreme Court

Kristin Hughs, right, announces to supporters the Supreme Court’s decision on the Hobby Lobby case in Washington, Monday, June 30, 2014.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais, Associated Press

Enlarge photo

SALT LAKE CITY The Obama administration has issued a new regulation (on Aug. 22) offering some relief to family businesses and nonprofit organizations that have objected, on the grounds of religious conscience, to the requirement that they offer abortion-inducing contraceptives.

It is the eighth time in three years the government has retreated from its original, hard-line stance that only houses of worship that hire and serve fellow believers deserve religious freedom, said Lori Windham, senior counsel to the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which successfully fought the contraceptive mandate both on behalf of businesses, like the retail craft chain Hobby Lobby, as well as nonprofit religious orders like the Little Sisters of the Poor.

The Supreme Courts 5-4 decision in favor of Hobby Lobby, decided on June 30, was an important step in affirming religious freedom laws in this country.

But consider the task faced by defenders of religious freedom: They must confront the attitude, pervasive within the Obama administration, that religion takes place only within the walls of a church or synagogue.

Archbishop Williams Lori of Baltimore put his finger on the problem when he told the Catholic News Agency earlier this month: “It’s easy to see that the threats to religious liberty in the West are starting to constrict religion more and more. [Religion is seen] as reducible simply and solely to freedom of worship, the sentiment that as long as you’re in church, do what you want, but don’t think about bringing religious values into public, into your place of work, into the political discussion.

Consider the difference between the freedom of worship, which is not seriously contested in the Western world, versus the free exercise of religion.

Its commonly said that the First Amendment itemizes five freedoms: religion, speech, a free press, peaceably assembly and the right to petition. The advocates of the minimalist freedom of worship think of the Obama administration view religious rights as if they were akin to tweeting against Boko Haram, or assembling for an awards ceremony.

See more here:
Drew Clark: Religious freedom is more than a right to speak and assemble

From News Tribune staff and AP wire reports

Thursday, August 28, 2014

A Missouri ballot measure that would allow allegations of past actions to be used against people facing child sexual abuse charges could lead to more wrongful convictions of the falsely accused, a prominent defense attorney said Wednesday.

The proposed constitutional amendment is backed by prosecutors, sheriffs and police chiefs groups.

It would allow past criminal acts even alleged crimes that didnt result in convictions to be used to corroborate victim testimony or demonstrate a defendants propensity to commit such crimes when people face sex-related charges involving victims younger than 18. However, the evidences admissibility is at the judges discretion, meaning if the judge doesnt think it is relevant to the matter being tried then it can not be used.

Currently the previous acts of defendants cannot be presented as evidence to a jury unless they waive their Fifth Amendment rights and testify. The past allegations can also be taken into consideration by judges during sentencing hearings after the defendant has been found guilty.

If approved by Missouri voters in November, Constitutional Amendment 2 could make it more difficult for defendants to persuade juries and judges of their innocence, said Kim Benjamin, a Belton attorney who is the past president of the Missouri Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

Youre now defending your entire life, your entire reputation, rather than this one act, she said. It causes a tremendous risk for more people to be wrongly convicted.

One of Benjamins most prominent clients was Burrell Mohler Sr., the patriarch of a western Missouri family who was accused along with his four sons of sexually abusing young relatives over many years. The charges ultimately were dropped in March 2012, after Mohler had spent more than two years in jail while awaiting trial.

The proposal, which was referred to the ballot by the Legislature in 2013, is a backlash against a December 2007 Missouri Supreme Court decision of State v. Ellison that struck down a state law allowing evidence of past sexual crimes to be used against people facing new sex-related charges involving victims younger than 14. Before Ellison, the Legislature had twice tried to establish legislation that would make the states statues regarding these issues mimic federal law, but both attempts were deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

Read the original post:
Sexual abuse measure could lead to wrongful convictions, attorneys say

The NCAA suggested its main arguments to appeal the Ed O’Bannon ruling allowing college athletes to be paid will focus on amateurism and First Amendment rights on live broadcasts.

In a filing Thursday night with the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the NCAA’s lawyers responded to a mandatory mediation questionnaire that asks to briefly describe the issues on appeal. The NCAA wrote, The issues on appeal include but are not limited to whether amateurism is presumptively procompetitive for an amateur sports league and whether plaintiffs’ claims based on a property right in the use of their (names, images and likenesses) in live broadcasts of sporting events are foreclosed by the First Amendment. USA Today Sports first reported the filing.

U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken ruled Aug. 8 that the NCAA’s restrictions on what Football Bowl Subdivision players and Division I men’s basketball players can receive unreasonably restrain trade and violates antitrust law. Wilken’s injunction will allow football and men’s basketball players to receive scholarships covering their full cost of attendance and deferred payments for the schools’ use of their names, images and likenesses (NILs).

For decades, the NCAA’s legal defense to avoid paying players has relied upon a landmark 1984 Supreme Court ruling that stripped the NCAA of TV rights and allowed conferences to sell their games. The NCAA has clung to a line from that decision: In order to preserve the character and quality of the (NCAA’s) ‘product,’ athletes must not be paid, must be required to attend class, and the like.

In her October 2013 summary judgment ruling, Wilken wrote the Supreme Court opinion does not stand for the sweeping proposition that student-athletes must be barred, both during their college years and forever thereafter, from receiving any monetary compensation for the commercial use of their names, images and likenesses. In her August judgment after a three-week trial, Wilken noted that the O’Bannon plaintiffs provided enough evidence to show the college sports industry has changed substantially in 30 years.

Wilken also wrote that the Supreme Court opinion stating athletes must not be paid differed from the NCAA’s own lawyers in the case. The NCAA’s lawyers in 1984 said during an oral argument that the NCAA was not relying on amateurism as a procompetitive justification and might be able to get more viewers and so on if it had semi-professional clubs rather than amateur clubs,’ Wilken wrote. In addition, Wilken wrote that the NCAA has inconsistently applied its amateurism rules throughout the association’s history and to this day.

Wilken’s injunction allows the NCAA to create a cap on the deferred licensing money as long as the cap is not less than $5,000 per year. It’s what’s called a less-restrictive alternative to the antitrust violation found.

By appealing based on amateurism, the NCAA could find relief or perhaps an even more damaging ruling. Conceivably, the appeals court could determine that amateurism is so illegitimate that it’s unreasonable for there to be any cap. That’s the argument attorney Jeffrey Kessler makes in his class-action lawsuit against the NCAA and the five major conferences.

Another issue the NCAA suggested it will appeal in O’Bannon relates to the First Amendment and live TV broadcasts — an area that generates billions of dollars for schools. The O’Bannon plaintiffs have sought to share that licensing revenue.

Earlier in the O’Bannon case, the NCAA claimed that the First Amendment and various state laws prevent college athletes from asserting any rights of publicity during game broadcasts. Wilken rejected that argument in April, writing that the First Amendment does not guarantee media organizations an unlimited right to broadcast entire college football games and questioned whether college athletes validly transfer their rights of publicity to another party.

See the rest here:
NCAA hints at O'Bannon case appeal strategy

May 232014

Keen, have you ever heard of a situation where a parent, no matter how good a job he’s done of raising his kid, finds himself in a situation where the kid’s done something really bad and it’s become necessary to put your hand on the kid’s shoulder to make the point just how bad this is? That little pressure of your palm next to his neck is in both your minds an extreme physical measure, compared with the talkings-to you’ve administered in the past and you both know it. It’s as close as you’ll ever come to hitting the kid but, again, in your minds, things have come to the pretty pass that made it exigent you make your point.

Now, what about the kids of people who aren’t nearly the good parent you are? We’re surrounded by them, other people’s kids, and can you deny that it seems like many don’t listen to anything but a good smack in the kisser because that’s either the way they were raised or that’s just the way some people seem to be.

Okay, so much, for now, for not hitting people; what about whose stuff is whose?

You were born, probably, in the ’50s; you don’t say and it’s not really important exactly when. Presumably, you were born in this country or raised here; you don’t say and, again, it’s not important. It’s likely, though, that some time after you started to walk, your parents told you not to play in the street. (Maybe they even smacked you one time when you didn’t listen.) It wasn’t until years later, maybe, that you wondered how that street got there?

It’s not a natural outcropping, Keen.

Somebody put it there and that somebody was us, way back when. An integral part of our parents’ parents agreeing to get together and live was fixing up the place so it was livable. Streets and roads were early on the list as were places to do the public business. Places, you know, like courts? Like the Supreme Court, where you beat Waubaunsee County when they messed with you? Streets and roads and public buildings and lots of other things situated on land that, in a large number of cases, was somebody else’s stuff. It doesn’t take a lawyer or nuclear physicist to figure out that somebody had to give (or get smacked) and the world’s full of stories of givers who didn’t take kindly to the notion. Guys just like you.

Now, instead of typing forever on what could turn into a long, philosophical rambling about all of this stuff, I’m going to stop and ask you: unless each and every person in the state thinks and acts just like you and is as smart as you are (at least), what makes you think that you’ll ever get things working the way you want–short of having yourself appointed dictator?

Your libertarianism, how is getting that to work going to be any less insurmountable a problem than the one the Communists faced in Russia almost 100 years ago and how’s it going to turn out any better, in practice, when you have to concede that mere changes in government form or economic form, imposed on a populace that hasn’t changed an iota, are doomed?

I can guarantee you that when you come to take my stuff, I resist and you smack me, I’m not going to like it.

Read more:
Letter: Give Libertarians a look



Supreme Court refuses to hear case against NSA
http://www.youtube.com/user/espanolnoticiass The National Security Agency is defending itself in court this week. A US District Court judge in Washington, DC…

By: 2014 Cartoon Channel

Read more from the original source:

Supreme Court refuses to hear case against NSA – Video



Free speech case starts in Ohio, heads to Supreme Court
CINCINNATI (WKRC) — The Supreme Court expresses doubts about the constitutionality of an Ohio law that bars people from making false statements about candidates during a political campaign….

By: LOCAL 12

See the rest here:
Free speech case starts in Ohio, heads to Supreme Court – Video

According to a recent article in the New York Times, the Supreme Court like nearly every other major institution of American governance is in serious trouble.

After a string of high-profile decisions that split cleanly along partisan lines, the courts reputation for honesty, integrity and a high-minded remove from the ugly world of partisan politics is eroding, with consequences that could extend far beyond its hallowed walls. Politically, ours isan increasingly polarizedera,and as the court has shown itself to be far from immune to the ideological pressures that have brought so much of the federal government to a grinding halt, some worry that Americans belief in and respect for the rule of law could be the ultimate victim.

Its because of this context that a recent study from political science and law professor Lee Epstein (along with two colleagues) that examined Supreme Court justices rulings on free speech cases has earned so much attention. Epstein and her fellow researchers examined more than 50 years worth of Supreme Court rulings on free speech and reached a conclusion that is at once unsurprising anddeeply troubling: Justices tend to be far more sympathetic to free speech when the speech in question aligns with their ideological beliefs.

Hoping to better understand the study as well as learn the identities of the worst free speech hypocrites on the current court Salon spoke this week with Epstein. The interview can be found below, and has been slightly edited for clarity and length.

How did you conduct this study, and what are its chief findings?

We looked at all First Amendment cases involving expression And what we did was we coded the outcome of the case, whether the courts then favored the First Amendment or not, and then we looked at the speaker the nature of the speech and looked at whether it was a liberal speaker or conservative speaker. Then we controlled for a whole bunch of other variables that could detect outcomes in First Amendment cases, but we were really interested in the ideology of the speaker.

The essential finding is that liberal justices tend to vote in favor of expression when its a liberal speaker and conservative justices tend to vote in favor of expression when its a conservative speaker.

Was the effect of the ideological preference equal on both sides or was one side more susceptible that than the other?

It was actually pretty equivalent Liberals, on the whole, are more supportive of expression. Thats true. But in terms of the bias, its significant for both the liberals and the conservatives. Now, if you look at the current court its clear that the conservatives are more extreme [in their bias] than the liberals.

Was there any member of the current court whose bias was more pronounced than was the case for the other eight?

More here:
Scalias free speech hypocrisy: What a new study proves about his bias

Lois Lerner, former director of the Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division at the Internal Revenue Service, exercises her Fifth Amendment Right against self incrimination during a hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Capitol Hill on March 5. BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images

Embattled former IRS official Lois Lerner can breathe a small sigh of relief: as of now, the House has no plans to arrest her in an effort to compel her to testify about the agency’s undue scrutiny of certain tax-exempt groups.

The House voted to hold Lerner in contempt of Congress last week for her repeated refusal to testify before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. The charge against her stems from an opening statement she made in a hearing last year declaring her innocence before invoking her Fifth Amendment right. Republicans say that by delivering her opening statement, she waived her rights against self-incrimination.

Despite the contempt charge, Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, says it’s up to Attorney General Eric Holder – not the House – to take the next steps.

“The contempt charge has gone to the attorney general and its up to the attorney general, Eric Holder, to prosecute this and to assign someone to prosecute the case. Now will he do it? We don’t know. But the ball is in his court,” Boehner said over the weekend in an interview on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures.”

Boehner said a provision allowing the House to make its own arrest has “never been used and I’m not sure it’s an appropriate way to go about this. It’s up to Eric holder to do his job.”

Boehner spokesman Michael Steel clarified that the speaker was referring to the modern era, because the House did at one time enforce its own contempt findings.

The Supreme Court has twice upheld the House’s authority to arrest and even imprison people through a process called “inherent contempt.” A 2014 report by the Congressional Research Service (CRS) found several instances in which Congress would dispatch the Sergeant-at-Arms to arrest the person being held in contempt. They would stand trial before the House, be given counsel, found guilty, and then penalized with arrest or a fine.

“Inherent contempt has the distinction of not requiring the cooperation or assistance of either the executive or judicial branches. The House or Senate can, on its own, conduct summary proceedings and cite the offender for contempt,” the report found.

But the practice hasn’t been used since 1935, in part because imprisonment for refusing to comply with a subpoena cannot extend past the current session of Congress, and also because the process has been described as “unseemly,” cumbersome, time-consuming and ineffective in the modern era.

Follow this link:

No plans to arrest Lois Lerner, John Boehner says

The Supreme Court unwisely declined to review Drake v. Jerejian, last week, a case that challenged New Jerseys discretionary system of concealed-carry permitting.

By denying review, the Court failed to resolve a nationwide split about the meaning of the Second Amendment.

Eventually, the Court will have to face the issue and decide if it was serious when it held that the Second Amendment protects an individuals right to keep and bear arms.

Both Heller and McDonald made it clear that the government cannot ban or effectively ban guns, but lower courts are still struggling to define what restrictions are allowed under those rulings.

In 2008, in the landmark case of D.C. v. Heller, the Supreme Court held that the Second Amendment protects the individual right to keep and bear arms.

Eventually, the Court will have decide if it was serious when it held that the Second Amendment protects an individuals right to keep and bear arms.

Later, in 2010s McDonald v. Chicago, the Court held that the Second Amendment protects citizens from not just federal prohibitions, as Heller said, but also from state and municipal prohibitions.

Since that time, the Court has not heard another Second Amendment case. Both Hellerand McDonald made it clear that the government cannot ban or effectively ban guns, but lower courts are still struggling to define what restrictions are allowed under those rulings. The Supreme Court needs to clear up the uncertainty.

Gun controllers in cities and states across the country are taking advantage of that uncertainty to test the limits of gun control. After McDonald struck down Chicagos de factogun ban, the city created a restrictive permit system requiring one hour of range training. But the city also banned gun ranges. The Seventh Circuit struck down the ban on ranges.

More recently, a judge struck down Chicagos ban on virtually all sales and transfers within the city because the Second Amendment right must also include the right toacquirea firearm.

See the rest here:
Guns and Supreme Court: Is Second Amendment a Privilege, Not a Right?



FireFox! Start Your Own Web Hosting Company
Web Hosting Advertise Here $10 a Month Affordable web-hosting
Pierre Teilhard De Chardin




Designer Children | Prometheism | Euvolution | Transhumanism

Sign up below for the Prometheism / Designer Children Discussion Forum

Subscribe to prometheism-pgroup

Powered by us.groups.yahoo.com