Civil Rights / Equal Protection
Categories underneath Civil Rights / Equal Protection:
- Free Speech: Other Issues/General
- Gun Control/2nd Amendment
- Hate Groups/Hate Crimes/Hate Speech
- Privacy: Other
- Fair Trials
- Arrests/Habeas Corpus
Articles and Resources
Date Fairness.com Resource Read it at: May 30, 2014 Is There Such a Thing as an Affordable Lawyer? For many Americans, legal services are out of reach. But that's beginning to change.
QUOTE: The implication that you might need multiple degrees to represent yourself in a basic civil dispute seems unfair in and of itself. But a lack of access to affordable legal representation—coupled with the obstacles facing anyone who wants to self-represent—imposes knock-on costs that ripple throughout society....Lack of access to legal help, in other words, serves as a shield for neglectful landlords and all sorts of other bad actors—abusive husbands, predatory lenders, corrupt employers. Because it took someone with Ned’s advantages to hold her accountable, his landlord was free to fleece tenants for years.
Atlantic Online, The (Atlantic Monthly) May 22, 2014 Outcry as businessman gets work-release after 7 DUIs, car crash
QUOTE: local uproar over how Goodman, 42, avoided hard jail time -- despite facing his seventh drunk-driving offense and with his blood alcohol measuring 0.16, twice Washington state's threshold for DUI..."It seems like Shaun Goodman and other people that are wealthy are playing by a different set of rules,"
CNN (Cable News Network) Oct 15, 2013 Dear John: Think twice before picking up that prostitute in Sanford
QUOTE: the Sanford Police Department will send "Dear John" letters to registered owners of vehicles spotted lingering in areas known for prostitution....Some lawyers are criticizing the initiative, which they say could have negative repercussions if police erroneously send the letter to someone who was not looking for a prostitute.
Orlando Sentinel Sep 10, 2013 New details in how the feds take laptops at border
QUOTE: President Barack Obama and his predecessors have maintained that people crossing into U.S. territory aren't protected by the Fourth Amendment. That policy is intended to allow for intrusive searches that keep drugs, child pornography and other illegal imports out of the country. But it also means the government can target travelers for no reason other than political advocacy if it wants, and obtain electronic documents identifying fellow supporters.
Yahoo News Jul 28, 2013 Momentum Builds Against N.S.A. Surveillance
QUOTE: a plan to defund the National Security Agency’s telephone data collection program fell just seven votes short of passage. Now, after initially signaling that they were comfortable with the scope of the N.S.A.’s collection of Americans’ phone and Internet activities, but not their content, revealed last month by Edward J. Snowden, lawmakers are showing an increasing willingness to use legislation to curb those actions.
New York Times Jul 25, 2013 U.S. Asks Court to Limit Texas on Ballot Rules
QUOTE: The Obama administration on Thursday moved to protect minority voters after last month’s Supreme Court ruling striking down a central part of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, with the Justice Department asking a court to require Texas to get permission from the federal government before making changes....Gov. Rick Perry of Texas cast Mr. Holder’s remarks as an attempt by the Obama administration to weaken the state’s voter-integrity laws...
New York Times Mar 15, 2013 Right to Lawyer Can Be Empty Promise for Poor
QUOTE: Fifty years ago, on March 18, 1963, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled in Gideon v. Wainwright that those accused of a crime have a constitutional right to a lawyer whether or not they can afford one.... the promise inherent in the Gideon ruling remains unfulfilled... Civil matters — including legal issues like home foreclosure, job loss, spousal abuse and parental custody — were not covered by the decision. Today, many states and counties do not offer lawyers to the poor in major civil disputes, and in some criminal ones as well. Those states that do are finding that more people than ever are qualifying for such help, making it impossible to keep up with the need.
New York Times Feb 04, 2013 Justice Department memo reveals legal case for drone strikes on Americans
QUOTE: A confidential Justice Department memo concludes that the U.S. government can order the killing of American citizens if they are believed to be “senior operational leaders” of al-Qaida or “an associated force” -- even if there is no intelligence indicating they are engaged in an active plot to attack the U.S. The 16-page memo, a copy of which was obtained by NBC News, provides new details about the legal reasoning behind one of the Obama administration’s most secretive and controversial polices: its dramatically increased use of drone strikes against al-Qaida suspects abroad, including those aimed at American citizens
NBC News Dec 02, 2012 Collaboration in Gaza Leads to Grisly Fate
QUOTE: Last month’s extrajudicial killings...were a stark departure from Hamas’s efforts since then to pursue collaborators in court and not the street, spotlighting its dilemma as a movement rooted in militant resistance now trying to run a government. The Qassam Brigades, Hamas’s military arm, claimed responsibility for the killings, but some party leaders condemned them.
New York Times Oct 18, 2012 A Second Appeals Court Calls Marriage Law Unfair to Gays
QUOTE: A federal appeals court in Manhattan ruled on Thursday that the federal statute defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman unlawfully discriminates against same-sex married couples by denying them equal federal benefits. The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit is the second federal appeals court to reject a central portion of the federal law, the Defense of Marriage Act...
New York Times May 29, 2012 Published mug shots: A constant reminder of one man's past
QUOTE: mug shots, which are public record, from sheriffs and local police departments, who hand over the information with the names listed in alphabetical order, detailing the criminal charges...."They are using a person's image for commercial gain without their permission," said Singh-Grover. "To me, its extortion, maybe not legally, but the common use of that term."
CNN (Cable News Network) Mar 26, 2012 Trayvon's killing and Florida's tragic past
QUOTE: No matter the state, the circumstances are eerily familiar: a slaying. Minimal police investigation. A suspect known to authorities. No arrest. Protests and outrage in a racially charged atmosphere. Florida is known for its amusement parks, beaches and pensioners from the North. But history bears out that Florida has been as much a part of the South and its vigilante-enforced racial caste system as Georgia and Alabama.
CNN (Cable News Network) Feb 28, 2012 Judge’s dismissal of atheist's harassment claim against Muslim makes waves
QUOTE: A blog post by the group American Atheists disagrees. "That a Muslim immigrant can assault a United States citizen,” it says, “in defense of his religious beliefs and walk away a free man, while the victim is chastised and insulted... is a horrible abrogation."
CNN (Cable News Network) Nov 12, 2011 Keep government out of mind-reading business (My Take)
QUOTE: Now, for the first time in human history, we are peering into the labyrinth of the mind and pulling out information, perhaps even information you would rather we did not know....If my right to privacy means anything, it must mean the right to keep my innermost thoughts safe from the prying eyes of the state, the military or my employer.
CNN (Cable News Network) Oct 25, 2011 Death of U.S. teenager in drone strike stokes debate
QUOTE: 'Proportionality' is at the heart of the argument....is it acceptable in law to carry out an attack against an identified terrorist suspect where others in his immediate vicinity - whose identities are unknown - are likely to be killed or injured?...
CNN (Cable News Network) Oct 25, 2011 How the Patriot Act stripped me of my free-speech rights
QUOTE: the government implausibly claimed that if I were able to identify myself as the plaintiff in the case, irreparable damage to national security would result. But I did not believe then, nor do I believe now, that the FBI’s gag order was motivated by legitimate national security concerns. It was motivated by a desire to insulate the FBI from public criticism and oversight.
Washington Post Oct 10, 2011 Secret Orders Target Email: WikiLeaks Backer's Information Sought
QUOTE: The court clashes in the WikiLeaks case provide a rare public window into the growing debate over a federal law that lets the government secretly obtain information from people's email and cellphones without a search warrant. Several court decisions have questioned whether the law, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, violates the U.S. Constitution's Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches and seizures.
Wall Street Journal, The (WSJ) Sep 30, 2011 U.S. drone killing of American al-Awlaki prompts legal, moral debate
QUOTE: The U.S. drone killing of American-born and -raised Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, a major figure in al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, has re-energized a national debate over the legal and moral quandaries of a government deliberately killing a citizen.
CNN (Cable News Network) Sep 10, 2011 NLRB sets a precedent for employee free speech on social platforms
QUOTE: The National Labor Relations Board has ruled in the favor of 5 New York workers that were fired because of comments they made on Facebook. The judge in the case decided that the social media communications of the workers were protected by the National Labor Relations Act, which allows for employees to freely discuss the terms and conditions of their employment.
WebProNews Aug 24, 2011 In New Jersey, Rules Are Changed on Witness IDs
QUOTE: The New Jersey Supreme Court, acknowledging a “troubling lack of reliability in eyewitness identifications,” issued sweeping new rules on Wednesday making it easier for defendants to challenge such evidence in criminal cases.
New York Times Aug 19, 2011 Feds investigate L.A. sheriff's office for civil rights violations
QUOTE: The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is being investigated for alleged "systemic" civil rights violations during routine traffic stops by trying to identify people who live in publicly subsidized housing...
CNN (Cable News Network) Aug 12, 2011 Health Law Is Dealt Blow by a Court on Mandate
QUOTE: The provision in President Obama’s health care law requiring Americans to buy health insurance or face tax penalties was ruled unconstitutional on Friday by the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, in Atlanta. It was the first appellate review to find the provision unconstitutional — a previous federal appeals court upheld the law...
New York Times Jul 07, 2011 To Slow Piracy, Internet Providers Ready Penalties
QUOTE: After years of negotiations with Hollywood and the music industry, the nation’s top Internet providers have agreed to a systematic approach to identifying customers suspected of digital copyright infringement and then alerting them via e-mail or other means....concerns that consumers might be punished “based on allegations that have not been tested in court.”
New York Times Jul 05, 2011 U.S. to Prosecute a Somali Suspect in Civilian Court
QUOTE: The Obama administration announced Tuesday that it would prosecute in civilian court a Somali accused of ties to two Islamist militant groups. The decision to fly the man to New York for trial, after interrogating him for months aboard a United States naval vessel, is likely to reignite debate about the detention and prosecution of terrorism suspects.
New York Times Jun 29, 2011 Common Sense and Sensibility
QUOTE: the Supreme Court ruled that police, when questioning a child suspected of committing a crime, must take the suspect’s age into account and may have to provide Miranda warnings in circumstances that would not require the warnings to be given to an adult suspect. The vote was 5 to 4, and the author of the majority opinion was Justice Sonia Sotomayor. The premise that children are different from adults and may feel coercive pressure when an adult would not, she said, was simply one of “commonsense reality.”
New York Times Jun 24, 2011 New York Allows Same-Sex Marriage, Becoming Largest State to Pass Law
QUOTE: Lawmakers voted late Friday to legalize same-sex marriage, making New York the largest state where gay and lesbian couples will be able to wed and giving the national gay-rights movement new momentum from the state where it was born....Passage of same-sex marriage here followed a daunting run of defeats in other states where voters barred same-sex marriage by legislative action, constitutional amendment or referendum. Just five states currently permit same-sex marriage...
New York Times Jun 15, 2011 Watching the Detectives
QUOTE: Because the department ignores lawsuits, it cannot analyze or learn from them; instead, the city effectively writes off these suits as the extraordinarily high cost of doing police business. In contrast, a small but growing group of police departments around the country have found innovative ways to analyze information gathered from lawsuits. They investigate lawsuit claims as they would civilian complaints, and they discipline, retrain or fire officers when the claims are substantiated.
New York Times May 23, 2011 Justices, 5-4, Tell California to Cut Prisoner Population
QUOTE: Conditions in California’s overcrowded prisons are so bad that they violate the Eighth Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment, the Supreme Court ruled on Monday, ordering the state to reduce its prison population by more than 30,000 inmates.
New York Times Apr 20, 2011 A Return to the Cultural Revolution?
QUOTE: This episode reveals not only the essence of a system where the individual has no rights, but also the evolution of a new brand of repression: the perverted “rule by law” instead of the “rule of law.” In other words, the application of legal loopholes to violate human rights instead of protect them.
New York Times Jan 28, 2011 Republican Congressman Proposes Tracking Freedom of Information Act Requests
QUOTE: Mr. Issa, a California Republican and the new chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, says he wants to make sure agencies respond in a timely fashion to Freedom of Information Act requests and do not delay them out of political considerations. But his extraordinary request worries some civil libertarians.
New York Times Jan 03, 2011 Anonymity and the Dark Side of the Internet
QUOTE: What is remarkable about this volume is that the legal academics who make the arguments I have rehearsed are by and large strong free-speech advocates. Yet faced with the problems posed by the Internet, they start talking about “low value” speech (a concept strong first-amendment doctrine rejects) and saying things like “autonomy resides not in free choice per se but in choosing wisely” and “society needs not an absence of ‘chill,’ but an optimal level.”(In short, let’s figure out which forms of speech we should discourage.)
New York Times Nov 03, 2010 Ouster of Iowa Judges Sends Signal to Bench
QUOTE: An unprecedented vote to remove three Iowa Supreme Court justices who were part of the unanimous decision that legalized same-sex marriage in the state was celebrated by conservatives as a popular rebuke of judicial overreach, even as it alarmed proponents of an independent judiciary.
New York Times May 24, 2010 What's behind Rand Paul's confusion
QUOTE: [Rand] Paul thrust us into one of thorniest corners of that larger question: What's the government's role in regulating how private actors -- private individuals and the private sector -- treat people of another race. The framers of the 14th Amendment wouldn't go there; in 1868, America wasn't ready for it.
CNN (Cable News Network) May 21, 2010 Detainees Barred From Access to U.S. Courts
QUOTE: A federal appeals court ruled Friday that three men who had been detained by the United States military for years without trial in Afghanistan had no recourse to American courts. The decision was a broad victory for the Obama administration in its efforts to hold terrorism suspects overseas for indefinite periods without judicial oversight.
New York Times May 13, 2010 U.S. Decision to Approve Killing of Cleric Causes Unease
QUOTE: The Obama administration’s decision to authorize the killing by the Central Intelligence Agency of a terrorism suspect who is an American citizen has set off a debate over the legal and political limits of drone missile strikes, a mainstay of the campaign against terrorism. The notion that the government can, in effect, execute one of its own citizens far from a combat zone, with no judicial process and based on secret intelligence, makes some legal authorities deeply uneasy.
New York Times Apr 18, 2010 Supreme Court to consider case against California law school
QUOTE: The college, which requires officially recognized student groups to admit any Hastings student who wants to join, may be well-meaning, says the student outpost of the Christian Legal Society. But the group contends that requiring it to allow gay students and nonbelievers into its leadership would be a renunciation of its core beliefs...
Washington Post Feb 28, 2010 Civil rights-era killings yield secrets to FBI probe
QUOTE: Three years after the FBI pledged to investigate more than 100 unsolved civil rights killings, the agency is ready to close all but a handful. Investigators say they have solved most of the mysteries behind the cases, but few will result in indictments, given the passage of decades, the deaths of prime suspects and the challenge of gathering evidence.
Washington Post Feb 25, 2010 Supreme Court rules that request for lawyer in questioning has expiration
QUOTE: A suspect's request that a lawyer be present before submitting to police questioning does not last forever, the Supreme Court ruled Wednesday. In fact, 14 days is long enough for police to wait before taking the alleged perpetrator into custody again and attempting another interrogation.
Washington Post Feb 13, 2010 Justice Dept. defends warrantless cell phone tracking
QUOTE: The FBI and other police agencies don't need to obtain a search warrant to learn the locations of Americans' cell phones, the U.S. Department of Justice told a federal appeals court in Philadelphia on Friday.
CNET Jan 31, 2010 Obama admnistration takes several wrong paths in dealing with terrorism
QUOTE: Some may celebrate that the current Justice Department's perspective on the war on terrorism has become markedly more dominant in the past year. We should probably understand the implications of that before we break out the champagne. That apparently no one recommended on Christmas Day that Abdulmutallab be handled, at least for a time, as an enemy combatant should be concerning.
Washington Post Jan 09, 2010 Officials Hid Truth of Immigrant Deaths in Jail
QUOTE: thousands of pages of government documents, including scathing investigative reports that were kept under wraps, and a trail of confidential memos and BlackBerry messages that show officials working to stymie outside inquiry....107 deaths in detention counted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement since October 2003...
New York Times Sep 25, 2009 Justice Dept. to Address Backlog of Civil Rights Complaints
QUOTE: Some former staff members say those words have weight. They have spoken of deep damage done to the Justice Department's civil rights work by its previous leadership... and, through a series of hires, systematically placed lawyers ideologically aligned with the Bush administration -- some with little to no civil rights experience -- in permanent civil rights jobs.
Washington Post Sep 15, 2009 Do You Have the Right to Flip Off a Cop?
QUOTE: "The law is clear that people have the constitutional right to use profanity, especially when it comes to government officials, because that is a form of political speech," [ACLU legal director Witold] Walczak says. "But despite that, we have police officers regularly misapplying the law to punish people who offend them — that's really what it comes down to."
Time Magazine Aug 27, 2009 To love, honour and obey in Mali: A new family law in Mali is causing a furore, partly because it no longer stipulates that wives have to obey their husbands.
QUOTE: Mali's current law specifically states that a wife must obey her husband, and that is the way things should stay says Mahmud Dicko, president of Mali's High Islamic Council.
British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Aug 25, 2009 Our laws condone torture: Investigations into torture can only do so much. The U.S. needs laws that more clearly forbid brutality
QUOTE: It is the ambiguity of U.S. law on these matters that allowed John Yoo to offer those bizarre opinions, as White House counsel, as to what interrogators could do. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is toothless and largely ineffectual except as a vague set of ideals. It needn't be that way.
Salon Aug 03, 2009 'They Want to Destroy Christians' Spasm of Religious Violence Leaves a Pakistani Minority in Mourning, Frustration
QUOTE: Killing has become commonplace in Pakistan. But this attack [in Gojra] startled the country both for its ferocity and for its stark message to religious minorities.
Washington Post Jul 23, 2009 How to stay in charge: A special report on the Arab world
QUOTE: director of the Almishkat Centre for Research and Training in Cairo, Mr Fergany is no less furious with the Arab regimes, which he accuses of doing everything in their power to obstruct democracy and social justice. In most Arab countries, he says, the political order is oppressive and democracy a sham, a hollow system incapable of accommodating the vitality of the people.
Economist Jul 22, 2009 Rights Group Accuses Saudi Arabia of ‘Gross’ Abuses
QUOTE: The human rights group Amnesty International accused Saudi Arabia on Wednesday of using its campaign against terrorism as a facade for “a sustained assault on human rights...”
New York Times Jul 05, 2009 Piecing Together an Immigrant’s Life the U.S. Refused to See
QUOTE: When the 43-year-old man died in a New Jersey immigration jail in 2005, the very fact seemed to fall into a black hole. Although a fellow inmate scrawled a note telling immigrant advocates that the detainee’s symptoms of a heart attack had long gone unheeded, government officials would not even confirm that the dead man had existed.
New York Times Jun 12, 2009 San Francisco at Crossroads Over Immigration
QUOTE: But over the last year... San Francisco has become less like its self-image [a liberal enclave that does not cooperate with immigration authorities] and more like many other cities in the United States: deeply conflicted over how to cope with the fallout of illegal immigration.
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