4th Amendment

WASHINGTON - OCTOBER 08:  U.S. Supreme Court m...

“If you win this case, there is nothing to prevent the police or government from monitoring 24 hours a day the public movement of every citizen of the United States,” said Justice Breyer.

The Supreme Court justices were decked out in their usual black robes today for U.S. vs Jones [pdf], a case involving the question of whether police need a warrant to attach a GPS tracker to someone’s car. But given their paranoia about possible technology-enabled government intrusions on privacy, it might not have been surprising if they had also been wearing tin foil hats.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “SCOTUS Not Psyched About Idea Of Government Secretly Putting GPS Trackers On Their Cars”

The best kind of welfare?

* Cloudy with a chance of dismissal for Steve Sunshine, Sprint’s Skaddenite. During oral argument, a judge reminded him that antitrust law didn’t exist to protect competitors. [Wall Street Journal]

* Oh, the things you’ll argue to get around a motion to dismiss: Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s accuser now contends that diplomatic immunity isn’t a pass for free blow jobs. [Bloomberg]

* Israel trades prisoners like Pokémon cards. Pending approval from the country’s security cabinet, Emory Law student Ilan Grapel will be swapped for 25 Egyptian prisoners. [Los Angeles Times]

* Premeditation? Sam Friedlander, the solo practitioner who massacred his family, bought a shotgun after getting the short end of the stick in a custody arrangement. [Journal News]

* Do drug tests constitute unreasonable searches and seizures? Maybe not, but thanks to a temporary injunction, welfare recipients in Florida will live to toke another day. [Washington Post]

We’ve been talking a lot recently about the secretly authorized stuff our government does to us — like killing us, or molesting us at airports.

Here’s another one for the list: digging through our emails or Twitter feeds or cell phone data, without probable cause, our permission, or our knowledge. This isn’t necessarily shocking in and of itself; back in April, Kashmir Hill wrote about how often the government requests information about private individuals from tech companies.

What’s shocking is the ease with which the government gets that information and the secrecy with which it does so. Somehow it’s all based on a law that is older than the Internet. The policy recently came to light when authorities ordered a small Internet provider, as well as Twitter and Google, to turn over information about Jacob Appelbaum, an American who volunteers with WikiLeaks.

How does the U.S. government circumvent basic probable cause and search warrant requirements when it wants electronic information? Let’s see….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “If the Government Wants Your Email, It Gets Your Email”

* In November, the Supreme Court will decide whether our Fourth Amendment rights come subject to advances in technology. I, for one, welcome our new Orwellian overlords. [New York Times]

* What do you get when two wireless carriers with craptastic coverage and service that goes down more than a porn star have plans to merge? Who knows, but AT&T says it’s a good thing. [Bloomberg]

* Class actions are pretty pricey, so it would be great if Groupon offered its employees a special on overtime pay. That daily deal would reach the required minimum. [Crain's Chicago Business]

* Would that Stephen McDaniel had once posted online about where he would hide a “hypothetical” body. The search for the remains of Lauren Giddings continues this week. [Macon Telegraph]

* Stephen Zack, immediate past president of the ABA, is donating $800K to his alma mater to promote diversity. Promoting employment is apparently still on the back burner. [Miami Herald]

* Do fat people have rights under the ADA? White Castle, if your customers are too large to fit into your booths, the solution isn’t to send them coupons for more fast food. [New York Post]

My objections to the TSA and the invasive search techniques they employ have been well documented in these pages. I believe their tactics are violative of our rights and would be deemed unconstitutional in any America where courts placed justice ahead of fear. I believe a government that authorizes these searches has lost its legitimacy to rule. I believe citizens who support these procedures do not deserve the liberty they so eagerly toss aside.

And I believed all of that before I was actually molested by the TSA just yesterday.

Having now been through that awful experience, and so close to the ten-year anniversary of 9/11, I can only conclude that not only did the terrorists win, but they keep winning. Right now, the terrorists are winning so hard that they’ve gotten us to do their work for them. In my opinion, the TSA is nothing more than a domestic terror organization that operates above the law.

Just two minutes alone with these people has made me realize that their power now far exceeds the normal constraints of law and order. It might well take active civil disobedience to stop them.

Of course, this is all just my opinion. That’s a disclaimer I feel I need to make very clearly, since the TSA apparently believes that I should be wary of even criticizing it, for fear of being slapped with a lawsuit….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Two Minutes of Terrorist Triumph: Alone With the TSA”

* You don’t have the right to get half naked in an airport to protest the TSA’s policies. Aaron Tobey’s lawsuit has been stripped of its Fourth Amendment claims following a dismissal. [Washington Post]

* Paul Ceglia has to give Facebook every email he’s exchanged since 2003. If Ceglia’s like most men, lawyers at Gibson Dunn will get an interesting peek at his private life. [Wall Street Journal]

* An HIV/AIDS group has been charged with improperly spending federal funds. They were supposed to open a job training center. They allegedly opened a strip club. Problem? [Washington Examiner]

* Pit bulls are cute until they bite your face off (but they do get a bad rap because of bad owners). This ADA lawsuit may help overturn residential dog breed restrictions in Colorado. [ABA Journal]

* In a case of a playboy getting hustled, a man is suing over a $28,109.60 bar tab charged on his credit card at the Hustler Club. Talk about going tit for tat. [New York Post]

The Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments t...

Time to scratch off that Fourth one?

The Honorable Alex Kozinski, Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and one of his law clerks have penned a eulogy for the Fourth Amendment. It’s been murdered, Judge Kozinski and Stephanie Grace write in an editorial for The Daily, and you all are the guilty culprits.

You’ve put a knife in it, by letting supermarkets track your shopping in exchange for loyalty discounts, letting Amazon and eBay store your credit card info, and letting Google track the websites you visit and take photos of your homes with satellites.

The problem, at least constitutionally speaking, is that the Fourth Amendment protects only what we reasonably expect to keep private. One facet of this rule, known as the third party doctrine, is that we don’t have reasonable expectations of privacy in things we’ve already revealed to other people or the public…

With so little left private, the Fourth Amendment is all but obsolete. Where police officers once needed a warrant to search your bookshelf for “Atlas Shrugged,” they can now simply ask Amazon.com if you bought it. Where police needed probable cause before seizing your day planner, they can now piece together your whereabouts from your purchases, cellphone data and car’s GPS. Someday soon we’ll realize that we’ve lost everything we once cherished as private.

via Remember what the Fourth Amendment protects? No? Just as well. | United States |Axisoflogic.com.

The lamentation for the loss of privacy has special resonance coming from these two, because it’s by one of the top federal judges in the country and that Stephanie Grace.

Read on at Forbes.com….

* Starbucks sued for not being nice to dwarfs. I propose to fix this by offering a dwarf-sized coffee that is the volume of a full-sized dwarf. That way, everybody would learn that dwarfs might be small in stature but huge if you had to drink one. [ABA Journal]

* Happy is the lawyer who has clients who are worse at math than he is. [Constitutional Daily]

* It’s not that I think cops shouldn’t be allowed to break down doors if they fear evidence is being destroyed. It’s that I don’t want cops to break down my door for the crime of “owning a door while black,” while invoking the “we thought we smelled pot and he was smoking the evidence” exception. [Law & Technology / Forbes]

* Whenever America and France get into a fight, I always picture some German dude sitting around saying “Jå, Iago. Now das taschentuch!” [Simple Justice]

* Could Goodwin Liu get a hearing already? [The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times]

* Eric Schneiderman, if you want to be governor in 7 years, you’re going to have to give us a little more than this. [WSJ Law Blog]

* Apple was hit with a lawsuit by parents angry that their credit cards were being used by their stupid kids to buy dumb swag in iPhone games. [Time]

* An Italian fortune, an American woman, and the suggestion that paternity sometimes cannot be forcefully established by the simple query “Who dat is?” [New York Times]

* When police use GPS to lojack hoes that drive Volvos and Rodeos, can they do it without a warrant? [WSJ Law Blog]

* An article about the ABA Commission on Ethics 20/20, or something like that. I’m not sure as I dozed off halfway through, like I regularly did during Ethics class in law school. [ABA Journal]

Eric Holder

* This post details various sports goings-on, like the possible move of the Sacramento Kings and former linebacker and all-around gentleman Bill Romanowski. Because Lat demands all the sports coverage we can find. [Am Law Daily]

* A possible explanation for Geoffrey Fieger’s outstanding website content. Smoking only the finest sticky icky. [Chicago Tribune]

* Eric Holder failed to pay taxes on his dead mother’s house. Until he did. Then the Post ran a story about when he didn’t. After he did. Super cool story, Post. [New York Post]

More fun than document review?

I’m surprised we’re not seeing more of this. As TSA continues to scan and/or feel-up everybody who gets on a plane, raising questions under the Fourth Amendment, an Oklahoman woman stripped down to her underwear to prove a point.

According to a report by News 9 – Oklahoma, Dr. Tammy Banovac, 52, arrived at the Oklahoma City airport wearing an overcoat and in a wheelchair. When she got to security, she removed the coat, revealing her curvaceous figure — clad in nothing but a black bra and panties. She refused to go through the metal detector, so she had to be subjected to a pat-down.

Is there video? Would I be posting this if there wasn’t?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Slightly Crazy Blonde Disrobes for TSA”

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