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items tagged with U.S. Supreme Court

Strip-Searching America: The Supreme Court Favors Abuse Over the Bill of Rights
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Commentary/Politics

Category: Guest Commentaries

2012-04-12 11:53:02

In a devastating 5-4 ruling that not only condones an overreach of state power but legitimizes what is essentially state-sponsored humiliation and visual rape, the U.S. Supreme Court on April 2 declared that any person who is arrested and processed at a jail house can be subjected to a strip search. The severity of the offense is irrelevant – they can be guilty of nothing more than a minor traffic offense – and police or jail officials don’t need to have a reasonable suspicion that an arrestee is carrying a weapon or contraband. The five-man majority rationalized their ruling as being necessary for safety, security, and efficiency – the government’s overused and all-too-convenient justifications for its steady erosion of our freedoms since 9/11.


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Ted Rall: No One Could Hear Me
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Lifestyle

Category: Ted Rall

2012-04-09 13:24:50



A Whirlwind Tour of the Supreme Court’s Commerce-Clause Jurisprudence
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Commentary/Politics

Category: Guest Commentaries

2012-04-05 18:05:57

There is a widely held view that Congress has virtually unlimited power to legislate, especially concerning economic matters. Consider, for example, the passage of the controversial Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act two years ago. While Congress’ power to regulate the economy is not completely unbounded, it is very far-reaching indeed. However, it was not always so.


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U.S. V. Jones: The Battle for the Fourth Amendment Continues
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Commentary/Politics

Category: Guest Commentaries

2012-01-24 17:30:13

In a unanimous 9-0 ruling in United States V. Jones, the U.S. Supreme Court has declared that police must get a search warrant before using GPS technology to track criminal suspects. But what does this ruling, hailed as a victory by privacy advocates, really mean for the future of privacy and the Fourth Amendment?

While the Court rightly recognized that the government’s physical attachment of a GPS device to Antoine Jones’ vehicle for the purpose of tracking his movements constitutes a search under the Fourth Amendment, a careful reading of the court’s opinion, written by Justice Antonin Scalia, shows that the battle over our privacy rights is far from over.


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“A Law Unto Themselves”: Jury Nullification and the Deck Stacked Against It
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: News/Features

Category: Feature Stories

2010-07-22 11:46:52

(Editor's note: "Fully Informed Juries: A New Hope for Freedom," Don Doig's commentary on jury nullification, can be found here.)

Like most people, Mike Angelos was surprised to learn about the power of juries to disregard the law. "The courts are really stacked against people," he said.

And he's trying to change that.

For more than a year, Angelos (a retired electrical engineer) and three other people have been handing out information regarding jury rights, including the power to return a verdict of "not guilty" if jurors believe that the law itself is unjust -- regardless of the facts of the case. This is commonly called "jury nullification" of laws, and the effort to spread the word about that power is known as the "fully informed jury" movement.

"The message we try to get to people is that it's the jury's right and duty to judge the law -- laws are arbitrary, bad, and misapplied -- as well as the facts of the case," Angelos said. "This was a new concept to me."


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