US Legal Issues
By Richard Hoffman, 7 March 2018
Recent calls by the New York Times for complaints and exposures of “gray-zone sex” experiences are based on the abandonment of centuries-old legal principles.
By George Marlowe, 27 December 2017
An anti-press subpoena against independent journalist Jamie Kalven would have forced him to disclose his confidential sources.
By Ed Hightower, 14 December 2017
The high court’s inaction means that employers in most states can openly discriminate against homosexuals without consequences under federal law.
US federal prosecutors rely on ultra-right propagandist group’s recordings in trial of inauguration day protesters
By Nick Barrickman, 2 December 2017
The federal government’s use of material from Project Veritas in its case against anti-Trump demonstrators further signifies the Trump administration’s reliance on far-right forces.
By Trévon Austin, 25 November 2017
Richard Coley was exonerated of the killing of his ex-girlfriend and her four-year-old son in Simi Valley based on modern DNA testing technology.
By John Burton, 7 November 2017
Los Angeles police arrested hundreds in the post-election protests, but presented only a handful of cases to prosecutors.
By Alan Gilman, 6 November 2017
The al-Nashiri case underscores the mockery being made of the Bill of Rights through the Military Commissions hearings at Guantanamo Bay.
By Warren Duzak, 25 October 2017
At a recent public meeting, the Metro Nashville Public Defender reviewed the arcane practice of bail bonding and its impact on working class and poor defendants.
By a reporter, 30 August 2017
The civil suit charged the Democratic National Committee and its then-chair, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, with rigging the contest for the party’s presidential nomination.
By Adam Soroka, 15 August 2017
The footage came just a week after a previous video showed an officer planting a bag of pills under a pile of garbage in an alley as two other officers looked on.
By Matthew MacEgan, 5 August 2017
A US appeals court threw out the first-degree murder conviction of one of the four former Blackwater security guards who massacred 14 unarmed Iraqis in September 2007.
By Nick Barrickman, 4 August 2017
Davino Watson was denied payment for damages on the grounds that the statute of limitations had passed while he was still being wrongfully detained.
By Tom Carter, 27 June 2017
Donald Trump’s presidential decree attacking Muslims, which was drafted by his fascistic advisers Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller, will be allowed to go into effect.
By Alan Gilman, 22 June 2017
The protracted legal proceeding concerned mass illegal detentions of immigrants in the New York City area, mainly Muslims, after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
By Andre Damon, 18 May 2017
The appointment of former FBI Director Robert Mueller to investigate Trump’s alleged ties to Russia marks a new stage in the factional battle raging in Washington.
By Patrick Martin, 11 April 2017
The new justice was confirmed by the Senate on Friday and sworn in on Monday.
By John Burton, 30 November 2016
President-elect Donald Trump’s tweet that people who burn the American flag in protest should be stripped of their citizenship is a repudiation of the First and Fourteenth Amendments.
By David Walsh, 8 November 2016
“A Rape on Campus” was a lengthy and sensationalistic piece, focused on the alleged horrific assault of a then-18-year-old female student, “Jackie,” at a fraternity house in September 2012.
By Tom Carter, 4 July 2016
The unanimous decision is a green light for the ever-more direct domination of corporate and financial interests over the American political system.
By Tom Carter, 11 June 2016
The media and political campaign that is unfolding in America around the sentencing of Stanford University freshman Brock Allen Turner is fundamentally reactionary.
By Tom Carter, 23 May 2016
The Zubik case highlights the unprincipled prostration of the entire political establishment before the protracted assault on the separation of church and state.
By Kate Randall, 13 May 2016
Earl Forrest died by lethal injection Wednesday in Missouri, while Vernon Madison received a stay just hours before his scheduled execution on Thursday in Alabama.
By Helen Hayes, 2 May 2016
Gary Tyler’s frame-up and decades-long incarceration expose the brutal class character of the American judicial system and its vast prison complex.
By Tom Hall, 23 April 2016
The lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union sought to compel the CIA to release information on its secret drone warfare program.
By Tom Carter, 11 April 2016
The cases are based on a tendentious conception of “religious liberty,” as well as the pseudo-legal doctrine of supposed constitutional “rights” for corporations.
By Tom Carter, 30 March 2016
The hard-fought Friedrichs case reflects ongoing divisions within the American ruling class over the best means of exploiting workers and suppressing their struggles.
By Kate Randall, 29 March 2016
The Ninth US Circuit Court’s ruling comes as the number of death row exonerees continues to grow, including 156 individuals since 1973.
By Tom Carter, 28 March 2016
Garland’s judicial career parallels the rightward trajectory of the American judiciary over the past two decades, and especially since the launch of the “war on terror.”
By Tom Carter, 29 February 2016
Supreme Court Justice Scalia, who vigorously opposed the principle of separation of church and state, spent his final hours with wealthy members of an aristocratic Catholic order.
As official veneration of right-wing justice continues
By Tom Carter, 22 February 2016
While the American political establishment and media have united to present Scalia as an “extraordinary legal figure,” the appointment of his replacement is generating conflict.
By Tom Carter, 16 February 2016
The sickening tributes across the official US political and media spectrum to Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who died suddenly on Saturday at the age of 79, are a barometer of the putrefaction of American democracy.
By Tom Carter, 15 February 2016
Scalia has personified the rightward march of the American political establishment over the past three decades, as it jettisoned what remained of its commitment to democratic institutions.
By John Andrews, 14 November 2015
The Supreme Court is considering a case that could overturn almost seven decades of law by throwing out a verdict against a large corporation found to have denied workers required wages.
By Kevin Martinez, 21 August 2015
The imprisoned whistleblower was sentenced to 21 days of restrictions but was spared indefinite solitary confinement following public outrage over the trial.
By Josh Varlin, 20 August 2015
New documents reviewed by the Wall Street Journal reveal that law enforcement agencies are expanding their use of cellphone-tracking devices.
By John Burton, 30 June 2015
The Supreme Court struck down Environmental Protection Agency regulations that would have sharply reduced airborne toxins from oil- and coal-fueled power plants.
By Tom Carter, 24 June 2015
The Supreme Court decided it was “harmless” for Hector Ayala’s attorney to be excluded from hearings that eliminated all of the black and Hispanic jurors from the jury pool.
By D. Lencho, 24 June 2015
The reduced charge of second degree murder gives the judge discretion to suspend the sentence if a conviction is reached.
By Tom Hall, 18 June 2015
Even legal immigrants spend months or years in prison without bail awaiting deportation for minor drug offenses, according to a report issued this week by Human Rights Watch.
By Tom Carter, 16 June 2015
The Supreme Court endorsed the Obama administration’s assertion of the arbitrary power to deny immigration visas based on vague invocations of the so-called “war on terror.”
By Richard Hoffman and Mike Head, 15 June 2015
Today, 800 years after the Magna Carta, the international working class confronts an historic assault on its fundamental democratic rights.
By Ed Hightower, 8 May 2015
Avoiding the vast constitutional issues at stake, the court essentially called on Congress to provide a more robust pseudo-legal basis for unlimited warrantless spying.
By Eric London, 17 March 2015
A lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union challenges the secrecy of the Obama administration’s “targeted killing” drone assassination program.
By Shelley Connor, 2 February 2015
Police in Birmingham City Schools used pepper spray on students 300 times between 2006 and 2011, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center’s lawsuit.
By John Andrews, 11 November 2014
In a reactionary ruling, a federal court of appeals has struck down lower court decisions upholding same-sex marriages, setting the stage for a US Supreme Court ruling.
By Kate Randall, 10 November 2014
The Supreme Court’s decision to hear King v. Burwell comes just days before the beginning of open enrollment for the second year of the Affordable Care Act.
By Tom Eley, 16 October 2014
A 10-year-old Pennsylvania boy has been charged as an adult and jailed for the death of a 90-year-old woman.
By Tom Carter, 6 October 2014
In a speech Wednesday, Scalia declared that the Constitution does not prohibit the government from favoring “religion over nonreligion,” calling for a fight against “secularists” who contend otherwise.
By Tom Carter, 9 September 2014
Recently declassified documents detail the early stages of the ongoing effort to create the pseudo-legal framework for a police state in America.
By Tom Hall, 8 September 2014
The oil giant’s potential fine of $18 billion is less than its more-than $23 billion in profits last year.
By Gabriel Black, 19 June 2014
A federal appeals court overturned a previous ruling allowing a terrorism defendant’s lawyer access to FISA material.
By Tom Carter, 29 May 2014
The US Supreme Court unanimously ruled Tuesday in favor of three Arkansas police officers who fired 15 bullets at a fleeing motorist and his passenger, killing both.
By Gabriel Black, 29 May 2014
The Supreme Court stopped the execution of a man from Florida on the basis that the judge needed to allow more evidence to assess his mental competency and that an IQ test was not always enough.
By Ed Hightower, 8 May 2014
President Barack Obama has nominated David Barron, the author of pseudo-legal memos that authorize the drone assassination of US citizens, as a judge for a top appellate court.
By John Andrews, 24 April 2014
In a fractured ruling with five separate decisions by the eight participating justices, the US Supreme Court has upheld a voter-enacted prohibition of racial preferences in Michigan.
By John Burton, 3 April 2014
The Supreme Court has invalidated the provision of the federal election finance law that limits wealthy individuals from donating more than $123,000 to candidates and committees during any two-year election cycle.
As victims’ families call for criminal prosecution
By Barry Grey, 3 April 2014
For the second consecutive day, General Motors CEO Mary Barra appeared before a congressional panel and refused to provide answers regarding the company’s cover-up of an ignition switch defect linked to at least 13 deaths and 31 crashes.
By Tom Carter, 12 February 2014
If the government can order the assassination of US citizens in the name of national security, what can it not do? All the methods of a police state dictatorship become equally possible.
By Tom Carter, 30 January 2014
The Supreme Court ruled Monday that the unions had bargained away steel workers' right to receive overtime pay for time spent putting on personal protective equipment.
By Nick Barrickman, 25 January 2014
Authorities utilized a three-drug protocol for the lethal injection that included a lethal dose of pentobarbital, an anesthetic commonly used to euthanize animals.
By Bill Van Auken, 23 January 2014
Edgar Tamayo was put to death by lethal injection Wednesday night after Texas authorities rejected a World Court ruling requiring that they review his case and those of other Mexicans on death row.
By Thomas Gaist, 16 January 2014
The Open Internet regulations prohibited the selective blocking of slowing of legal Internet content by Internet providers.
By John Andrews, 16 January 2014
The acquittal of two officers captured on video beating to death a homeless, mentally ill man in Orange County, California has been met with widespread anger.
By Tom Carter, 31 December 2013
US District Judge William H. Pauley’s ruling in the case of ACLU v. Clapper on December 27, which sanctions NSA surveillance of the telephone records of the entire country’s population, has immense significance for democratic rights.
By Bill Van Auken, 18 December 2013
The ruling by Judge Richard Leon, while doing nothing to curb the NSA’s mass spying operations, nonetheless acknowledges that they embody the methods of a police state.
By John Burton, 17 December 2013
A federal judge in Washington, DC has ruled that the NSA’s collection of telephone data on virtually every person in the United States violates the Fourth Amendment’s protection against “unreasonable searches and seizures.”
By John Burton, 17 December 2013
FBI agents arrested 18 Los Angeles County Sheriff employees on charges of conspiracy, abuse of inmates and lying.
By Barry Grey, 17 December 2013
Deferred prosecution and non-prosecution agreements have proliferated under the Obama administration, in accordance with its policy of not prosecuting major banks or corporations.
By John Burton, 26 November 2013
Administration lawyers used the standard “war on terror” pretext to justify the NSA’s collection of telephone data on virtually every person in the United States.
By Kate Randall, 23 August 2013
The Justice Department petition argues that warrantless cell phone searches do not violate Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches and seizures.
By Niles Williamson, 6 August 2013
A Reuters report describes how federal law enforcement agencies that utilize evidence obtained from illegal domestic spying programs are trained to "recreate" the investigative trail in a manner that violates defendants’ right to a fair trial.
By Matthew MacEgan, 6 August 2013
The sentencing phase of the Bradley Manning court martial continued Monday with the testimony of Undersecretary of State Patrick Kennedy.
By Joseph Kishore, 4 June 2013
The US Supreme Court decision is a major attack on the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures.
By John Burton, 23 April 2013
The Supreme Court ruled unanimously that foreign citizens subjected to human rights abuses outside the US cannot sue corporations or individuals in US courts.
By John Burton, 23 April 2013
Paul Hoffman, a partner in the Venice, California law firm of Schonbrun, DeSimone, Seplow, Harris, Hoffman & Harrison, has been representing plaintiffs in cases under the Alien Tort Statute for the last 30 years.
By Barry Grey, 30 March 2013
There is a clear issue of democratic rights in the same-sex marriage question. Having said that, claims that recognition of same-sex marriage signifies a new flowering of democratic rights lack any credibility.
By Ed Hightower, 19 March 2013
The Treasury’s proposal represents yet another front in the escalating attack on democratic rights, especially the rights to privacy and freedom of association.
By John Burton, 28 February 2013
In dismissing the suit, the Supreme Court majority adopted the positions urged by Obama administration lawyers in their briefs and at oral argument last October.
By Joseph Kishore, 5 February 2013
Secret legal arguments prepared by the government are part of an effort to expand cyberwar strikes against other countries, particularly Iran and China.
By Niles Williamson, 24 January 2013
A US appeals court upheld the unpopular 2011 Wisconsin Budget Repair Bill (also known as Act 10) that sparked mass protests in the spring of 2011.
By Eric London, 11 January 2013
Eighteen veterans kill themselves each day, and the three branches of government have each answered with callous indifference.
By Naomi Spencer, 10 January 2013
Manning was granted only a 112-day reduction in sentencing on a life term in hearings this week.
By Naomi Spencer, 30 November 2012
Bradley Manning took the stand to speak on his pre-trial detention Thursday. It was the first public statement from the accused whistleblower in over two years.
By Naomi Spencer, 30 November 2012
Psychiatrists testified Wednesday that recommendations to end Manning’s solitary confinement were ignored.
By Bill Van Auken, 19 October 2012
In the latest in a seemingly endless series of “sting” operations, the FBI ensnared a 21-year-old Bangladeshi student in a fabricated plot to blow up the New York Federal Reserve.
By Tom Carter, 19 October 2012
The arguments in favor of affirmative action further exposed the gulf that separates a program for genuine social equality from the essentially undemocratic affirmative action policy.
By Tom Carter, 4 October 2012
In a significant number of cases expected to come before the US Supreme Court this term, democratic rights are in jeopardy.
By Ed Hightower, 30 August 2012
In a ruling handed down August 21, the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans upheld a Texas regulation that effectively cuts off funding to clinics operated by Planned Parenthood.
By Tom Carter, 20 August 2012
The Al-Aulaqi v. Panetta lawsuit highlights the extent to which democratic rights and the rule of law have been eroded under the Obama administration.
By Richard Hoffman, 28 June 2012
The unremarkable reasoning underlying the majority’s decision only places in sharper relief the barbarous character of the four dissenting judgments.
Arizona v. United States
By Kevin Kearney, 26 June 2012
The court ruling leaves in place the most reactionary and antidemocratic feature of Arizona’s SB 1070 law, the mandate that local and state police check the immigration status of anyone they detain or question.
By Tom Carter, 26 April 2012
The oral arguments yesterday before the US Supreme Court over Arizona’s anti-immigrant act are chiefly remarkable for the refusal of the Obama administration to mount any serious opposition to the unprecedented and authoritarian provisions of the law.
By Tom Carter, 19 April 2012
With the support of the Obama administration, the US Supreme Court Tuesday expanded the reach of a reactionary legal doctrine that immunizes government agents who violate the Constitution from litigation.
By John Burton, 5 April 2012
The Obama administration played a key role in Monday’s Supreme Court decision to allow blanket strip searches of people arrested for minor offenses.
By Kate Randall, 27 March 2012
The US Supreme Court began hearing oral arguments Monday into the constitutionality of the Obama administration’s health care legislation.
By Ed Hightower, 27 March 2012
The 2010 mid-term elections put Republicans in control of many state legislatures, largely due to the disaffection, arising from the administration’s right-wing policies, of many who had voted for Barack Obama in 2008. Since then, at least 17 states have attempted to restrict voting rights in advance of the November ballot.
By John Burton, 20 March 2012
The Supreme Court continues to weaken key provisions of the Bill of Rights, last month issuing reactionary decisions protecting police who serve illegal warrants and conduct interrogations without giving people their rights.
By Tom Carter, 24 January 2012
Recent Supreme Court opinions involving religion, voting rights and warrantless surveillance cast a shadow over existing democratic legal protections.
By Tom Carter, 12 January 2012
The videotapes sought by the Center for Constitutional Rights constitute important evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
By Tom Carter, 14 December 2011
The announcement Monday by the US Supreme Court that it will review a decision striking down provisions of Arizona’s unprecedented anti-immigrant law casts a shadow over what had been considered historically settled questions affecting democratic rights.