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Liberty Seminar Series: The Affordable Care Act
This is the latest and greatest information regarding the Healthcare Reform Act which includes the implications for individuals, the updated Supreme Court action of 2012, the Premium Tax Credit…

By: Anthony Fagen

Excerpt from:
Liberty Seminar Series: The Affordable Care Act – Video

UMKC Law School professor Allen Rostron did not begin his legal career intending to work in the area of Second Amendment rights, or be a full-time law professor. After graduating from Yale Law School, he worked as a tax attorney. He soon found, however, that he did not enjoy the work. At the time of his change of focus, gun control was getting a lot of media attention and when an opportunity presented itself, he took a position at the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence. The decision began a path that he still follows today.

Rostron was recently invited to be part of a planning team on former New York City Mayor Michael Bloombergs gun control group, Everytown for Gun Safety. As part of this group, Rostron focuses on recent decisions about the Second Amendment made by the Supreme Court after many years of the court not having any significant opinions about it.

When the Supreme Court decides something and you think well, that answers the question, it raises just as many questions, Rostron said.

That leaves lower courts around the country trying to figure out which laws are fine as they are written and which laws need some adjustment or even to be struck down. Groups on both sides of the issue gather to strategize to influence those decisions.

According to its website, Everytown is a movement of Americans working together to end gun violence and build safer communities. Their voices of the movement are moms, mayors and survivors.

There are groups that oppose gun control because they see it as an infringement upon the Second Amendment right to bear arms. Rostron said that in the recent Supreme Court decisions, the court has said that there needs to be a historical point of view taken. If a gun law is being decided on, a modern public policy perspective should not be the only perspective. The Supreme Court says that these decisions should begin by looking at what the right to keep and bear arms traditionally meant.

That creates a real need to know the history, Rostron said. There is a real need for historians to delve back into what was the situation with guns 200 years ago or more. What kind of laws did they have and what did they think you had a right to do and what did the right not cover. Its a very rich, interesting, historical exploration.

The courses Rostron teaches at UMKC have a healthy amount of discussion. He teaches a Seminar on Gun Law & Safety, but all of his courses have some amount of discussion about rights that citizens hold.

Students are willing to debate the gun control issue because its not as personal as more hot-button issues like abortion or affirmative action.

I have found guns to be in the category of some other things like maybe religion very controversial and people have very strong views about it, but theyre not afraid to get into it a little bit with other students or with the teacher, Rostron said.

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Law professor focuses work on Second Amendment

Published November 12, 2014

A procedural decision in a landmark Second Amendment case could spell the end for California laws restricting the issuance of permits to carry concealed handguns.

The decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals would bar other law enforcement officials, including state Attorney General Kamala Harris, from gaining “intervener status” to join in further challenges of its ruling in a case originally brought by an independent journalist who sued the San Diego County Sheriffs Department over its policy of requiring a specific reason for being allowed to carry a concealed weapon in public.

San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore has said he will not fight the ruling, meaning there is no one with standing left to challenge the decision made in February.

Since becoming Sheriff, I have always maintained that it is the legislatures responsibility to make the laws, and the judiciarys responsibility to interpret them and their constitutionality, Gore wrote in a letter to the county board of supervisors earlier this year, in which he said the courts decision gave him clarity on the issuance of licenses. Law enforcements role is to uphold and enforce the law.

Edward Peruta sued Gores department over its policy of requiring a specific reason for being allowed to carry a concealed weapon in public, restrictions other counties around the state also had in place.

In its bombshell ruling earlier this year, the 9th Circuit found those policies to be unconstitutional and held that law-abiding citizens have a right to bear arms under the Constitutions Second Amendment and could not be required to justify their reasons for carrying concealed weapons. The panel simultaneously ruled on a similar case brought in Yolo County, and that county’s sheriff, Edward Prieto, has not indicated he will drop further appeals, which could be heard en banc by all of the 9th Circuit judges or by the U.S. Supreme Court. Harris could try to join Prieto’s case, although Wednesday’s ruling appears to make it unlikely she would be allowed.

California counties have differed on policy in the wake of the February decision, with Orange County issuing the permits on request and others waiting for a resolution in the case.

One judge on the panel disagreed with Wednesdays ruling, saying the state should be able to intervene in the case to present an argument on an important constitutional question affecting millions of citizens.

The law would still not allow felons or the mentally ill to possess firearms, and would still prohibit the carrying of them in places such as schools and government buildings.

More:
Calif. court puts conceal-carry restrictions on brink – VIDEO: 'Impossible' to get permit in DC?



Libertarianism at the Supreme Court: Obamacare Under Fire, Gay Marriage on the Rise
Libertarianism at the Supreme Court: Obamacare Under Fire, Gay Marriage on the Rise.

By: Aboulissan

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Libertarianism at the Supreme Court: Obamacare Under Fire, Gay Marriage on the Rise – Video

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A state court has overturned a Portales teens 2011 murder conviction and ordered a new trial, according to court documents.

The New Mexico Court of Appeals ruled in an opinion posted Friday that statements DeAngelo Montoya made to investigators were inadmissible because his age precluded him from waiving his Fifth Amendment rights.

Montoya was convicted of second-degree murder in the July 2010 shooting death of 21-year-old Eastern New Mexico University student Angel Vale.

Montoya was 13 at the time of the shooting. He was remanded to a Children, Youth and Families Department group facility until he is 21, the maximum punishment allowed for a child.

The state ruling overturns a pre-trial ruling by District Court Judge Drew Tatum that allowed Montoyas statements.

District Attorney Andrea Reeb said Monday it is her understanding that the state Attorney Generals Office plans to ask the state Supreme Court to review the lower courts decision.

She said if the trial is returned to her district, her office plans to present additional evidence to allow Montoyas statements, and regardless of that decision, plans to retry Montoya.

In his opinion for the court, Chief Judge Rodrick T. Kennedy wrote:

We conclude that the evidence presented by the State through answers to a significant number of leading questions did not amount to clear and convincing evidence of Childs ability to waive his legal rights.

See more here:
13-year-olds murder conviction overturned

Magdalena Roeseler/Flickr

Earlier this week, I argued that verbal street harassment is a serious problem worth addressing but that criminalizing it would do far more harm than good. I also made brief mention of an article by Professor Laura Beth Nielsen, who argued in The New York Times that when the Supreme Court upheld a ban on cross-burning it set a precedent that should inform the catcalling debate.

What follows is correspondence from Nielsen, who was good enough to contact me about our disagreements. Her focus was free speech and who it empowers:

We tend to think of free speech as something that protects the little guy and his unpopular opinions. There is a rich history of that in the United States. But First Amendment jurisprudence as it stands now embodies power inequalities worth exploring. In the context of uninvited speech between strangers in public, we have full protection for the pervasive racial epithets that 81 percent of people of color report hearing on the street every day or often and the sexually harassing speech that 60 percent of women report hearing every day or often. In both examples, the First Amendmentour very Constitutionprotects the powerfuls privilege to harass minority group members.

Maybe thats okay because it is the price we pay to keep our First Amendment strong. But consider that the Supreme Court has never definitively ruled on whether begginganother form of unsolicited street speechis constitutionally protected. Restrictions on begging often are upheld by the appellate courts. When laws prohibiting begging are upheld it is often justified as necessary so commuters can get where they are going without being harassed. So when members of powerful groups in society want free (if annoying, harassing, or subordinating) speech in public, they get to do it. And when powerful members of society want to be able to walk down the street without the inconvenience of being asked for money by people living in poverty, they get that too. This is not about consistent constitutional standards for street speech, it is about the power of the speaker and the spoken to.

Can we at least agree we favor principled consistency?

When can speech be limited without violating the First Amendment? Lots of times! When it is conspiracy to commit a crime, when it incites a mob, when it is obscene, when it is a cigarette advertisement, and when the speech is done with the intent to intimidate. The case that established that rule is Virginia v. Black. The intent to intimidate must be proved to a judge or jury. You may not like that First Amendment jurisprudence, but that is the rule. And yes, that case is about cross-burning which seems very different to ordinary people than mere words but for purposes of our constitution is speech, just like any other speech. And the fundamental First Amendment prohibition is to treat different kinds of speech differently. So if racist hate speech can be restricted when done with the intent to intimidate, so can sexist speech. Can we at least agree we favor principled consistency?

Would this law be enforced? Not much. It would be extremely hard to prove, hard to know who was doing the harassing (as it is often quickly and quietly accomplished or yelled from far away preventing identification), and most women arent going to report this. But the lawour lawshould stand for equality. Would a law be differentially racially enforced? Most certainly. Racial bias in policing is a serious problem that we must remedy. Rather than making this a racism vs. sexism debate, why not try to promote equality in both arenas?

Id start with drug laws. The speech/power dynamic works out in other areas of the First Amendment jurisprudence as well. When campaign dollars were determined to be speech in Citizens United, which invalidated bipartisan campaign-finance laws, the wealthy gained a lot of political power.

While I do passionately expect justice from our law, these First Amendment contradictions are not what drive my zeal to end street harassment. When I began researching street harassment more than 20 years ago, I did not expect to see a vigorous debate about the topic in my lifetime. My lived experience of being viciously, repeatedly harassed and sexualized as a young girl taught me what most Americans know and what The Atlantic article says: Street harassment is a social problem, not just an annoyance. It is an exclusionary tactic.

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Would an Anti-Catcalling Law Afflict the Powerful or the Weak?

A federal appeals court will hear arguments Tuesday in a case challenging the NSA’s vast phone data collection program the next act in the legal battle pitting the agency’s antiterrorism efforts against the privacy rights of Americans.

Privacy advocates head into the arguments with a lower court victory in hand: A judge in Washington ruled in their favor in December, calling the technology to gather and analyze the phone records “almost Orwellian.”

The lawsuit brought by conservative activist Larry Klayman is one of several filed after former NSA contractor Edward Snowden revealed the data collection program a leak that has opened the way for judges to scrutinize the agency’s surveillance activities, and could propel the issue to the Supreme Court.

“Whatever one thinks of Snowden, we’re only here because of him,” said Stephen I. Vladeck, a law professor at American University.

The National Security Agency, which is headquartered at Fort Meade, says it mines “telephony metadata” the times of calls, numbers dialed and the duration of conversations in search of links between people making calls in the United States and suspected terrorists.

The government says the technique respects Americans’ constitutional right to privacy because the records already have been handed over to phone companies, and they do not include the contents of the conversations.

The American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation have filed briefs in support of Klayman. Klayman said the NSA’s “unconstitional acts affect all segments of society.”

“This case is unique in that both conservatives and liberals alike have joined to represent the American people,” Klayman said in a statement.

The NSA referred questions about the case to the Justice Department. The Justice Department did not respond to a request for comment.

U.S. law enforcement, police and spies alike have raced to find ways to use information shed by criminals and terrorists as they move through the digital world.

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Appeals court to weigh NSA phone data program

Confidentiality clauses and the battle for tracing black money outside India

The world is increasingly moving towards a more structured and organized struggle against illegal money parked in tax havens or even otherwise transacted at foreign soil. Originally the tax havens were completely non-cooperative. However, international pressure has compelled some of them to relax the rigidity against non-disclosure.

Almost all countries which entered into Double Taxation Avoidance Treaties or have a domestic legislation, as in the case of US, that has an extra-territorial application insist that information parted to the receiving State would be subjected to confidentiality clauses. The confidentiality clauses make it incumbent that disclosure would be made only after prosecution is filed before a charging court. Thus the issue is not whether but when disclosure can be made.The debate is not between disclosure and non-disclosure of confidential information. It is between unauthorized disclosure in violation of tax treaties and disclosure as per tax treaties. An unauthorised disclosure in violation of tax treaties entails that the disclosure is made for collateral purposes. It is usually not accompanied by any evidence or proof. But when a disclosure is made in pursuance of a charge sheet in a court of law where a criminal prosecution is filed, it would certainly be a disclosure substantiated by adequate proof and evidence.

A disclosure in violation of tax treaties helps the account holder. The reciprocating state would treat this as a violation of a tax treaty and refuse to provide any evidence in support of the unauthorized account. The holder of the unauthorised account in the absence of any proof and confirmation from the reciprocating State would get the benefit in any investigation or prosecution and then claim that I stand vindicated. In fact, a pre-mature disclosure would additionally alert the account holder to prepare some documentation or a sham defence. It may even enable him to destroy evidence.

India has to take a conscious call. Does it want to be a part of the global coalition which is moving in the direction of automatic sharing of information or not? Does it ensure all information is supported by substantial evidence and proof or only wishes to remain restricted to sloganeering? In the recent meeting of about 50 countries in Berlin which proposed automatic sharing of information, India could not participate since a prevalent view is that confidentiality clauses are unconstitutional in Indian law. This view requires reconsideration. An automatic exchange of information would relate both to authorized and unauthorised movement of money. Why should any information with regard to authorized movement of money be made public? Why should information even in relation of unauthorized movement of money be made public only for political or collateral purposes? Why should the account holder be alerted in advance? It should be put to an authorized use with collection of evidence and filing of prosecution.

The United States has legislated the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, 2010 (FATCA). The FATCA contains a confidentiality clause. It makes it mandatory for foreign financial institutions (FFIs) to register with the appropriate authority and exchange information. The foreign financial institutions are required to enter into agreement with the US Internal Revenue Service. Alternatively foreign governments can sign agreements with US government. Mandatory exchange of information subject to confidentiality clause being necessary. FATCA mandates the deduction and withholding of tax equal to 30% on a US source payment to recalcitrant FIIs or FFIs in non compliant countries which do not meet with the requirements of FATCA. Such 30% withholding will also be imposed by other FATCA compliant countries against non compliant countries.The consequences of not signing the the agreement with US under FATCA would be disastrous.It will negate the efforts being undertaken by our government to revive the Indian economy.

The Reserve Bank of India has already informed the Government of India about the serious and adverse consequences of non-compliance of FATCA by India. Several countries have already subscribed to FATCA.

An unauthorised disclosure of information is fraught with both investigation and economic consequences. They can sabotage the investigation. They can attract sanctions in the form of withholding taxes. It is obvious that in a choice between unauthorised disclosure and disclosure as per treaties, the latter is both a fair and beneficial proposition. It will help in collection of evidence and exposure of a wrong doing in accordance with law and fair procedure. A disclosure without evidence would ensure that evidence is never available.

Notwithstanding its clarity, why should someone with adequate understanding of the subject, demand a disclosure in violation of the treaty. The Congress Partys stand is understandable. It does not want evidence to be forthcoming in support of the names available with SIT. Are some others ill informed, just indulging in bravado or are they Trojan horses? I am sure the SIT which has been entrusted by the Supreme Court with the investigation, will succeed in bringing out the truth while realising the full implications of the subject matter.

The NDA Government has had an exemplary record in this matter. The first decision of its Cabinet Meeting was to accept the Supreme Court direction in constituting the SIT. It has complied with every decision of the SIT. It made available all the names in its possession to the SIT on 27th June, 2014 itself. It will continue to support the SIT fully and unequivocally in search of truth.

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'A disclosure in violation of tax treaties helps the account holder'

Advances in technology always make for interesting interpretations of established law.

Most recently, a Virginia Beach Circuit Court this week ruled that an individual in a criminal proceeding cannot be forced to divulge the passcode to his cellphone as it would violate the self-incrimination clause of the Fifth Amendment. At the same time, the Court held that an individual can be compelled to give up his fingerprint to unlock Touch ID, or any fingerprint protected device for that matter.

The Court reasoned that while a passcode requires a defendant to divulge actual knowledge, a fingerprint is a form of physical evidence, akin to a handwriting sample or DNA that authorities are already legally allowed to demand in certain circumstances. In a similar vein, the Supreme Court has previously ruled that while authorities can compel an individual to hand over a physical key to a locked safe, they can’t compel an individual to provide them with a combination to said safe; the key in this example is nothing more than physical evidence while the combination, based on an individual’s unique knowledge, is categorized as “testimonial.”

Mashable adds:

“It’s exactly what we thought it would happen when Apple announced its fingerprint ID,” Hanni Fakhoury, a staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital rights organization, told Mashable. (Android phones such as the Galaxy S5 and HTC One Max also have fingerprint ID systems.)

While the ruling in Virginia Beach is not as binding as a Supreme Court decision, it does establish legal precedent other local courts can draw on. More importantly, “it’s just a good wake-up call for people to realize that fingerprint ID doesn’t necessarily provide the same sort of legal protection than a password does,” Fakhoury says.

As relayed by The Virginian-Pilot, the ruling stems from a case involving a man charged with strangling his girlfriend. Authorities had reason to believe that video footage of the couple’s altercation might be located on the defendant’s cellphone and “wanted a judge to force” the defendant hand over the passcode.

See the original post here:
Court rules: Touch ID is not protected by the Fifth Amendment but Passcodes are

India’s government handed over the names of more than 600 Indians with foreign bank accounts to the Supreme Court on Wednesday after public outrage over rampant tax evasion.

The court, which ordered the government to release the list, has given the names to an investigative team that the government set up in June to find the illegal funds that tax dodgers have parked overseas.

The court set a deadline of March 31 next year for the team to complete its probe and begin legal action against tax evaders.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi says he wants to prosecute tax dodgers and bring money stashed in tax havens back into the country but little progress has been made since his landslide election victory earlier this year.

Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi said 627 people are named on the list. They all had accounts with a Geneva branch of HSBC, information that was disclosed in 2011 by an employee of the bank and passed to India but not acted on by the previous government. They are likely a tiny fraction of Indians with foreign bank accounts.

The Central Bureau of Investigation, India’s equivalent of the FBI, said in 2012 that $500 billion was held by Indians in tax havens overseas. Funds are stashed in tax havens such as Liechtenstein, British Virgin Islands, Switzerland, Mauritius, Jersey and the Isle of Man.

India has a flourishing “black money” economy that functions parallel to the legal economy. Undeclared income is used to fund election campaigns and buy land or real estate in order to avoid paying property taxes.

On Monday, the government disclosed the names of seven people who it said had illegal accounts abroad. That led to widespread outrage, prompting the court to step in and order the government to reveal all the names that it had.

The government told the court that it was committed to disclosing the names of people holding money abroad illegally. In an affidavit, the government said that since every account held by an Indian in a foreign country may not be illegal, it would investigate the accounts before disclosing the names of account holders.

India’s anti-corruption crusader Arvind Kejriwal said the special investigative team should carry out its probe in a rigorous and timely manner and that government action against tax evaders must be uniform.

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Govt to Probe Indians With Foreign Bank Accounts

Google, Facebook and Twitter are warning that giving companies the power to unmask anonymous Yelp reviewers would strike a blow to Internet free speech.

The right to speak anonymously would be greatly diminished if those who objected to anonymous speech could readily employ civil discovery to unmask a speaker, the companies said in a court brief backing Yelps effort to shield the anonymity of its users, even ones who post critical reviews that may be fraudulent.

The closely watched dispute before Virginias highest court centers on a complaint brought by the owner of Hadeed Carpet Cleaning Inc. in Springfield, Va., Joe Hadeed, who claims his suburban business was besieged by a rash of harsh Yelp reviews in 2012. That summer, as WSJs Angus Loten earlier recounted, Mr. Hadeed sued the seven reviewers for defamation and demanded that Yelp disclose their true identities.

He claims at least seven of the bad reviews about his business were fraudulent possibly posted by competitors including one review that came from Haddonfield, N.J., where the company doesnt do business. He says his sales plummeted after the comments were posted.

A state trial court and the Virginia Court of Appeals sided with Mr. Hadeed, holding Yelp in contempt for not turning over the names. Yelp then took its case to the state Supreme Court, arguing that the reviews are protected under the First Amendment.

The ruling fails to give adequate respect to the First Amendment right to anonymous speech, Google, Facebook, Twitter and three other web companies wrote in a friend-of-the-court brief filed Monday. The brief said Yelp has transformed and elevated this countrys long tradition of town halls, private assemblies, robust debate, and anonymous complaints by bringing it online and making it more accessible to people everywhere.

The document was filed Monday, a day before lawyers representing the two sides argued their case before Virginias high court.

Mr. Hadeeds attorney, Raighne C. Delaney, said the free-speech concerns were overblown, according to an Associated Press report on Tuesdays hearing. These businesses are not looking to go out and sue people for no reason, he said.

He told the judges, according to AP, that his client had first made a good faith effort to determine whether the reviewers were Hadeed customers before demanding that Yelp disclose their identities.

Paul Alan Levy, an attorney for Yelp, argued in court that the mere suspicion that the critical comments werent coming from real customers doesnt justify unmasking the reviewers, according to AP.

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Unmasking Yelp Users Would Hurt Free Speech, Warn Google and Facebook

FILE – In this file image made from video released by WikiLeaks on Oct. 11, 2013, former National Security Agency systems analyst Edward Snowden speaks in Moscow. Faced with congressional inaction to curtail the NSA?s bulk collection of Americans? telephone records, civil liberties groups are looking to cases already in the courts as a quicker way to clarify just what surveillance powers the government should have. Three appeals courts are hearing challenges to the National Security Agency phone records program, creating the potential for an eventual Supreme Court review. Judges in lower courts are grappling with the admissibility of evidence gained through the NSA?s warrantless surveillance. The flurry of activity follows revelations last year by former contractor Edward Snowden of once-secret intelligence collection programs. (AP Photo, File)(The Associated Press)

WASHINGTON While Congress mulls how to curtail the NSA’s collection of Americans’ telephone records, impatient civil liberties groups are looking to legal challenges already underway in the courts to limit government surveillance powers.

Three appeals courts are hearing lawsuits against the bulk phone records program, creating the potential for an eventual Supreme Court review. Judges in lower courts, meanwhile, are grappling with the admissibility of evidence gained through the NSA’s warrantless surveillance.

Advocates say the flurry of activity, which follows revelations last year by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden of once-secret intelligence programs, show how a post-9/11 surveillance debate once primarily hashed out among lawmakers in secret is being increasingly aired in open court not only in New York and Washington but in places like Idaho and Colorado.

“The thing that is different about the debate right now is that the courts are much more of a factor in it,” said Jameel Jaffer, deputy legal director at the American Civil Liberties Union. Before the Snowden disclosures, he said, courts were generally relegated to the sidelines of the discussion. Now, judges are poised to make major decisions on at least some of the matters in coming months.

Though it’s unclear whether the Supreme Court will weigh in, the cases are proceeding at a time when the justices appear increasingly comfortable with digital privacy matters including GPS tracking of cars and police searches of cellphones.

The cases “come at a critical turning point for the Supreme Court when it comes to expectations of privacy and digital information,” said American University law professor Stephen Vladeck.

Revelations that the government was collecting phone records of millions of Americans who were not suspected of crimes forced a rethinking of the practice, and President Barack Obama has called for it to end.

Since then, the House has passed legislation that civil libertarians say did not go far enough. In the Senate, Vermont Democrat Patrick Leahy, the Judiciary Committee chairman, is seeking a vote on a stricter measure to ban bulk collection, and it has bipartisan backing and support from the White House.

As Congress considers the matter, the federal judiciary has produced divided opinions.

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As Congress mulls reining in NSA phone records collection, attention turns to court challenges

Sometimes the First Amendment guarantees access to public records (generally limited to court records). Often Freedom of Information Acts and Public Records Acts are seen as fulfilling broader First Amendment values, by facilitating speech about how the government operates. But in Thursdays Roe v. Anderson (W.D. Wash. Oct. 23, 2014), a federal district judge relied on the First Amendment to block a state public records request.

Washington law requires erotic dancers to get licenses, and the Washington Public Records Act apparently mandates the release of licenses generally, including these licenses. But the dancers, the district judge held, have raised serious questions regarding whether this violates their First Amendment rights, because revealing their names and other personal information can expose them to harassment and threats to their physical safety. (Compare Doe v. Reed (2010), which applied First Amendment scrutiny to disclosure of the names of petition signers, though held that, given the government interests supporting such disclosure, the disclosure was indeed constitutional.) According to the Steve Maynard (Tacoma News Tribune), the man who requested the names said he was curious and he wants to pray for the strippers. I would pray for those dancers by name, David Van Vleet said after the hearing. Im a Christian. We have a right to pray for people.

I should note that this case might be relied on by analogy in Second Amendment cases, in situations where people try to use public records laws to get the names of registered gun owners, or of registered holders of gun carry licenses. (The Supreme Court said, in D.C. v. Heller (2008), that there is no constitutional right to concealed carry, but some courts the Seventh and Ninth Circuit and the Illinois Supreme Court have held that there is a constitutional right to some form of carry, and in some states a license is required for any sort of carrying.) Its always uncertain, of course, how much courts will accept such analogies.

In any event, here are some excerpts from the opinion:

I. FINDINGS OF FACT

10. Under PCC 5.14.100 and 5.14.110, managers and dancers at an erotic dance studio are required to apply for and maintain managers and dancers licenses that are issued by the Auditor. Under PCC 5.14.080 and 5.14.090, these licenses expire and are renewed on an annual basis.

11. Dancers at Dreamgirls at Foxs identify themselves to patrons by a pseudonym commonly known as a stage name. The purpose of the stage name is to maintain the dancers privacy and to protect them from stalking, harassment, discrimination, public embarrassment, and violence when they are outside the club.

15. Defendants Anderson and Pierce County are subject to the requirements of the Washington Public Records Act, (hereinafter PRA) .

16. The manager and dancer licenses issued and maintained by Defendant Anderson are public records as defined RCW 42.17.020, subsections (36) and (42).

17. Agencies such as the Auditors Office and Defendant Pierce County are required by the PRA to disclose public records upon request to anyone making the request and disclosure of the records is mandatory. The only public records protected from disclosure are those specifically mentioned in a statutory exemption.

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Volokh Conspiracy: First Amendment vs. freedom of information law



The Liberty Threat: Attack on Religious Freedom in America
The struggle for religious liberty has been present since the time of the Roman Empire. By looking at how the Ancient Christian world relates to the failures of our own Supreme Court, it is…

By: Family Research Council

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The Liberty Threat: Attack on Religious Freedom in America – Video

Philadelphia, PA (PRWEB) October 22, 2014

The Third Circuit in U.S. v. Katzin, 2014 U.S. Dist. WL 4851779 (3d Cir. Oct. 1, 2014), reversed its prior decision of the split three-judge panel and ruled that “…when the agents acted, they did so upon an objectively reasonable good-faith belief in the legality of their conduct, and that the good-faith exception to the exclusionary rule therefore applies.”

In the Katzin case, suspecting the defendants of committing various burglaries, police, without a warrant, installed a GPS onto their van, leading to their apprehension. Almost two years later, the Supreme Court in U.S. v. Jones, 463 U.S. 354 (2012) ruled that this exact conduct needed a warrant. A three judge panel of the Third Circuit then held that the Fourth Amendment requires a warrant to install a GPS device on a suspects car. U.S. v. Katzin,732 F. 3d 187 (3d Cir. 2013). Prior to Jones, the Supreme Court had ruled that installing surveillance devices was not necessarily a Fourth Amendment violation. See U.S. v. Karo, 468 U.S. 705 (1984) and U.S. v. Knotts, 460 U.S. 276 (1983). The question before the en banc panel, therefore, was whether the police in Katzin were reasonably relying on these precedents to justify the legality of attaching the GPS device. The en banc panel in Katzin relied upon the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Davis v. U.S., 131 S.Ct. 2419 (2011), which held that the good faith exception applies when the police were reasonably relying on binding precedent. Prior to Jones, the Supreme Court had ruled that installing surveillance devices was not necessarily a Fourth Amendment violation.

Ms. Lefeber explains that the Katzin decision effectively eviscerates any Fourth Amendment protection because it creates a good-faith exception to the suppression of ill-gotten evidence.

Judge D. Brooks Smith, similarly, wrote in his dissent:

“The majority’s good-faith analysis is flawed because it finds that, where the law is unsettled, law enforcement may engage in constitutionally reckless conduct and still reap the benefits of the good-faith exception. Fourth Amendment jurisprudence dictates a different outcome. When the law is unsettled, law enforcement should not travel the road of speculation, but rather they should demonstrate respect for the constitutional mandateobtain a warrant. Anything less would require suppression.” Katzin, Ibid.

About Hope Lefeber:

In practice since 1979, Lefeber is an experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorney in Philadelphia. As a former Enforcement Attorney for the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission, Lefeber uses the knowledge she gained while working for the government to best defend her clients facing serious state and federal charges related to drug offenses and white collar crime, including business and corporate fraud, mail and wire fraud, money laundering, financial and securities fraud, and tax fraud. A member of the invitation-only National Trial Lawyers Top 100, Lefeber has been recognized by Thomson Reuters as a 2014 Super Lawyer. She has represented high-profile clients, published numerous articles, lectured on federal criminal law issues, taught Continuing Legal Education classes to other Philadelphia criminal defense attorneys and has been quoted by various media outlets, from TV news to print publications.

Learn more at http://www.hopelefeber.com/

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Third Circuit Allows Evidence from Warrantless GPS Device

The Supreme Court is weighing in on another Fourth Amendment privacy case, this one concerning a Los Angeles ordinance requiring hotels to surrender guest registries to the police upon request without a warrant.

Thejustices agreed(PDF) Monday to hear Los Angeles’ appeal of a lower court that ruled7-4 that the lawmeant to combat prostitution, gambling, and even terrorismwas unconstitutional. The law(PDF) requires hotels to provide the informationincluding guests’ credit card number, home address, driver’s license information, and vehicle license numberat a moment’s notice. Several dozen cities, from Atlanta to Seattle, have similar ordinances.

“The Supreme Court will consider both the scope of privacy protections for hotel guests and also whether the Fourth Amendment prohibits laws that allow unlawful searches,” EPIC wrote. “The second issue has far-reaching consequences because many recent laws authorize the police searches without judicial review. Thus far, courts have only considered “as applied” challenges on a case-by-case basis.”

The appeal is the third high-profile Fourth Amendment case the justices have taken in three years.

In 2012, the justices ruled that authorities generally need search warrants when they affix GPS devices to a vehicle. And earlier this year, the Supreme Court said that the authorities need warrants to peek into the mobile phones of suspects they arrest.

In the latest case,Los Angeles motel owners sued, claiming that the law was a violation of their rights. The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with the motel owners in December and said the only documentsthey must disclose include a hotel’s proprietary pricing and occupancy information.

Businesses do not ordinarily disclose, and are not expected to disclose, the kind of commercially sensitive information contained in the records, Judge Paul Watford wrote for the majority. He said a hotel has “the right to exclude others from prying into the contents of its records.”

In dissent, Judge Richard Clifton wrote that neither the hotel nor the guest has an expectation of privacy.”A guest’s information is even less personal to the hotel than it is to the guest,” Clifton said.

In arguing to the justices that they should review the majority’s conclusion, Los Angeles city officials wrote(PDF), “These laws expressly help police investigate crimes such as prostitution and gambling, capture dangerous fugitives and even authorize federal law enforcement to examine these registers, an authorization which can be vital in the immediate aftermath of a homeland terrorist attack.”

Thehigh court did not set a hearing date.

More here:
Supreme Court to decide if cops can access hotel registries without warrants

PITTSBURGH — An evidence suppression hearing for Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School founder Nick Trombetta will stretch into November after another day of arguments Monday was more notable for who did not testify than for who did.

Beaver County solicitor Joe Askar, who also represents the Rochester-based National Network of Digital Schools, invoked his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination and refused to testify. Askar was subpoenaed by Trombettas defense team in their effort to get recorded conversations with attorneys, including him, tossed out by U.S. District Court Chief Judge Joy Flowers Conti.

Trombetta — who faces 11 federal charges — is claiming that the FBI violated his attorney-client privilege by recording discussions with Askar, former PA Cyber attorney Timothy Barry, and Ralph Monico and Leo Daly, attorneys who also represented NNDS. A Sept. 30 hearing was continued until Monday.

Mr. Askar has neither committed nor been charged with any crime. Nor will he be. As the U.S. Supreme Court has said, the privilege is available not only to protect the guilty, but also the innocent: We have emphasized that one of the Fifth Amendments basic functions is to protect innocent men, who otherwise might be ensnared by ambiguous circumstances, Bruce Teitelbaum, Askars attorney, said in a statement.

The ambiguities inherent in this complex matter and the possibility of misunderstanding compelled me, out of caution, to advise Mr. Askar to invoke his privilege, Teitelbaum said.

Barry was called to the stand by defense attorney Adam Hoffinger later in the day, but was excused after a lengthy off-the-record sidebar involving his attorney, Trombettas lawyers and prosecutors. Hoffinger said Barry would be recalled when the hearing continues next month.

Trombetta attorney Robert Salerno quizzed FBI agent Samantha Bell, the lead investigator, on synopses of calls monitored by agents, instructions to agents on recording calls and minimization, the FBIs name for when agents stop listening to calls that are irrelevant or might be protected by attorney-client privilege.

After Barry was excused, FBI agent Paul Allen took the stand and was questioned by Hoffinger on a June 2012 synopsis of a recorded call on which he noted that Trombetta would be talking to his attorney.

Hoffinger wondered how agents could know when to stop recording privileged communications if they truly did not know whether Trombetta had a personal attorney. Allen said he did not exactly remember, but testified that he might have simply written the note to be cautious.

Im not sure why I used the personal pronoun his, Allen said. I didnt mean anything by it.

Read the original post:
Agents questioned, Askar takes the Fifth in Trombetta hearing

Oct 202014



Gun Sense
It's time for gun control reform. Carrying guns into public restaurants and bars only lays ground work for potential trouble. The Supreme Court has ruled that the Second Amendment does not…

By: gmagic911X

More here:
Gun Sense – Video

New Delhi, Oct 17 (IANS) The central government Friday told the Supreme Court that it could not disclose the names, received from foreign governments, of people who have allegedly stashed away their ill-gotten money to tax havens, as it was bound by the confidentiality clause under the double taxation avoidance agreement.

See the article here:
Can't reveal names of account holders in tax havens, government to SC

New Delhi, Oct 17 (IANS) The Narendra Modi government's submission in the Supreme Court Friday that it cannot disclose names, received from foreign governments, of people who have allegedly stashed away their ill-gotten money in tax havens abroad triggered a war of words between the Congress and BJP.

Read the rest here:
Political duel after government says can't name tax haven account holders



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