John Yoo, who famously wrote the legal rationale for allowing the US government to torture people, has already defended the NSA’s activities, arguing that it takes too long for the NSA to obey the Constitution, so it shouldn’t have to. Given that, it was hardly a surprise to see his reaction to the recent ruling saying that the NSA’s bulk metadata collection program was likely unconstitutional and should be stopped. Yoo is… not a fan of this ruling. In fact, he uses it to rail against judges daring to make any determination about whether or not something violates the 4th Amendment. According to him (and only him) that’s the job of Congress, not the courts….
Author Of Torture Memo Says Judges Are Too Out Of Touch To Determine If NSA Violated The 4th AmendmentBy Techdirt
“What a person knowingly exposes to the public, even in his own home or office, is not a subject of Fourth Amendment protection . . . But what he seeks to preserve as private, even in an area accessible to the public, may be constitutionally protected.”
“’But who wants to be watched all the time?’
‘I do. I want to be seen. I want proof I existed [ . . . ] Most people do. Most people would trade everything they know, everyone they know — they’d trade it all to know they’ve been seen, and acknowledged, that they might even be remembered. We all know we die. We all know the world is too big for us to be significant. So all we have is the hope of being seen, or heard, even for a moment.”
– The Circle, by Dave Eggers
The Circle (affiliate link), the latest novel by Dave Eggers, is a work of speculative fiction centering on a hypothetical technology company called the Circle. Eggers sets the story on a glossy, mythical Silicon-Valley internet campus that unapologetically resembles some famous not-so-mythical ones. At the start of the tale, the Circle has recently overtaken Google, Facebook, and Twitter. Its TruYou technology has created unified accounts for its users’ online presences, linking all social media profiles and bank information, tying it to users’ actual offline identities. TruYou is a convenience, a means of better connecting online, but it also changes the tenor of Internet conversation. Since TruYou eliminates pseudonyms and anonymous activity, it also restores real-life accountability to online comments and interactions. People are nicer. Shopping is easier. Communicating is quicker. People send “zings.” They respond with “smiles” or “frowns.” The reader need not decode much in order to recognize this world….
- Constitutional Law, Crime, Federal Judges, Minority Issues, Police, Quote of the Day, Racism, S.D.N.Y., Shira Scheindlin
[T]he city’s highest officials have turned a blind eye to the evidence that officers are conducting stops in a racially discriminatory manner. In their zeal to defend a policy that they believe to be effective, they have willfully ignored overwhelming proof that the policy of targeting “the right people” is racially discriminatory and therefore violates the United States Constitution.
(Continue reading to see Judge Scheindlin’s glorious 195-page opinion. It’s a legal document that should be on every lawyer’s required reading list.)
Fifth Circuit Court Of Appeals Upholds Decision That Warrantless Cell Phone Tracking Doesn’t Violate Fourth AmendmentBy Techdirt
The ongoing court battle over warrantless cell phone location tracking continues and the latest decision is another setback for the Fourth Amendment. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals held that individuals have no reasonable expectation of privacy over their location data. The decision states that location data is a “business record” created by private companies with the implicit consent of cell phone users and therefore are not subject to privacy protections.
- Akhil Amar, American Constitution Society (ACS), Anthony Kennedy, Antonin Scalia, Conferences / Symposia, Constitutional Law, John Paul Stevens, Rape, SCOTUS, Supreme Court
Well, they give zero f**ks. Not a single one.
And this universal truism was reaffirmed when the 93-year-old former justice took the stage before a giant gathering of liberal lawyers, jurists, academics, and law students, and patiently told them how wrong they are about DNA and the Fourth Amendment.
This is what happens when you invite Republicans to speak…
In 2010, police in Des Moines, Washington (fun fact: pronounced “də·moinz,” with a “z” sound at the end, unlike the Iowa version), twice Tasered a 4-year-old Newfoundland dog named Rosie, chased it out of its yard, and then shot it four times — with an ASSAULT RIFLE. This was an act of unchecked police brutality that made the Rodney King cops say, “Hey, hold on now.”
And the city recognized this and offered the dog’s owners $51,000.
But a federal judge jumped in and basically doubled the payout, accused the city’s attorneys of having “terrible writing,” and that’s not even the worst charge he levels….
- 11th Circuit, 4th Circuit, 7th Circuit, Bankruptcy, BAR/BRI, Career Alternatives, Disability Law, Drugs, Frank Easterbrook, Law Professors, Law Schools, Marijuana, Non-Sequiturs, Paralegals, Technology
* The Dukes of Hazzard and Braveheart cited in the Eleventh Circuit. Other circuits, the gauntlet has been thrown down. [Volokh Conspiracy]
* Dave’s not here, man. Probably not the smartest stoner on the planet. [Lowering the Bar]
* Former Skadden attorney loses her appeal claiming that insomnia constituted a disability. It’s a setback for her, but nothing worth losing sleep over. [National Law Journal]
* The Second Circuit agreed with every other court that heard the motion and denied the effort to recuse Magistrate Judge Peck from the Da Silva Moore predictive coding case. [IT-Lex]
* Maybe it’s time for law professors to get off their duffs and try helping out their unemployed students directly. [Concurring Opinions]
* Chief Judge Easterbrook allows a $25K student-loan discharge for a “destitute” paralegal. The educational-industrial complex is not going to sit still for this. [ABA Journal]
* Oh, BARBRI. What’s the Matter with Kansas, indeed (after the jump)….