Category: Supreme Court

January 30, 2015

Supreme Court Upholds Auto Stop With No Traffic Violation

Ignorance of the law is no excuse – that is, unless you’re a police officer. For the first time, in December, the Supreme Court upheld a traffic stop even where there was no traffic violation. The court, in Heien v. North Carolina, continued its steady erosion of the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable searches and… Read more »

June 30, 2014

Will Supremes Apply Cell Phone Privacy to Metadata Collection?

In one of the most significant Fourth Amendment rulings ever handed down by the Supreme Court, all nine justices agreed in an opinion involving two companion cases, Riley v. California and United States v. Wurie, that police generally need a warrant before reading data on the cell phone of an arrestee. This decision may well… Read more »

January 16, 2014

NSA Metadata Collection: Fourth Amendment Violation

Edward Snowden, who worked for the National Security Agency (NSA), revealed a secret order of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), that requires Verizon to produce on an “ongoing daily basis … all call detail records or ‘telephony metadata’ created by Verizon for communications (i) between the United States and abroad; or (ii) wholly within… Read more »

July 18, 2012

Immigration, Racism, and the Supreme Court

The issue of immigration has been tossed about like a political football for some time. Democrats argue that migrants who have spent many years in the United States should be permitted to apply for lawful status. Republicans criticize these proposals as “amnesty.” But Congress has been unable to agree on comprehensive immigration reform. Three and… Read more »

June 25, 2012

Hope Dies at Guantánamo

The tragic case of Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif hit a dead end when the US Supreme Court issued an order refusing to hear his case last week. Latif, a Yemeni man, has been imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay since January 2002, after being detained while traveling to seek medical treatment. Latif had suffered serious head injuries… Read more »

August 8, 2010

Landmark Ruling Declares Prop 8 Unconstitutional

In a stunning, carefully crafted 136-page opinion, U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker held in Perry v. Schwarzenegger that California’s Proposition 8, which outlaws same-sex marriage, is unconstitutional. The lawsuit was filed by two gay couples who sought to overturn Prop 8. Interestingly, the named defendant, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, did not defend Prop 8. Neither… Read more »

May 14, 2010

Kagan’s Troubling Record

After President Obama nominated Elena Kagan for the Supreme Court, he made a statement that implied she would follow in the footsteps of Justice Thurgood Marshall, the civil rights giant and first black Supreme Court justice. Kagan served as a law clerk for Marshall shortly after she graduated from Harvard Law School. Specifically, Obama said… Read more »

May 10, 2010

Kagan Will Move Supreme Court to the Right

President Barack Obama has chosen Elena Kagan to fill the vacancy left by Justice John Paul Stevens’ retirement. Sadly, Kagan cannot fill Justice Stevens’ mighty shoes. As the Rehnquist court continued to eviscerate the right of the people to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures, Associate Justice John Paul Stevens filed principled and courageous… Read more »

January 15, 2010

Keeping Same-Sex Marriage in the Dark

On Wednesday, a conservative majority of the Supreme Court overturned a ruling made by a federal trial judge that would have allowed limited television coverage of a trial that will decide the fate of California’s Proposition 8. The trial, which is currently proceeding in San Francisco, is one of the most significant civil rights cases… Read more »

May 30, 2009

National Lawyers Guild Calls for Reasoned Analysis of Sotomayor Nomination

New York–In the wake of President Obama’s nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the United States Supreme Court, the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) encourages a reasoned analysis of Sotomayor’s candidacy. Critics are focusing on accusations of judicial activism and identity politics rather than engaging in sound examination of her legal qualifications. Comments of this nature… Read more »