Carson Would Consider Religion as Probable Cause

Credit: Michael Vadon

It's already become unbelievably obvious that Ben Carson knows nothing whatsoever about the Constitution, nor does he care a bit whether it is violated or not (except when he's ranting about others violating, nearly always when they aren't). But James Madison must be spinning in his grave after Carson told one of the Sunday talk shows that he'd be willing to consider the idea that one's religion be probable cause for 4th Amendment purposes. … [Read more...]

Woman Ordered by Court to Undergo Christian Counseling

Church and State

A mother in New Mexico was ordered to counseling by the family court, but assigned her to a Christian counselor who insisted on starting their sessions with prayer. She asked the court to give her a different counselor, but they ignored the request. When she finally had enough and stopped going, she was found in contempt of court and lost custody of her 11-year old twin sons. … [Read more...]

AHA Fights For Man Sentenced to Attend AA Meetings

Church and State

My friends at the American Humanist Association's Appignani Humanist Legal Center are defending a man in Washington who was ordered by a judge to attend meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous, an explicitly religious treatment program, as a condition of his parole. They are correctly arguing that this sentence is unconstitutional because ordering someone to attend religious meetings is a clear violation of the First Amendment. … [Read more...]

Davis Tells Oath Keepers to Stay Away


The badly misnamed Oath Keepers have decided not to go to Rowan County, Kentucky to provide a "security detail" for Kim Davis after her attorneys from Liberty Counsel asked them, apparently on her behalf, to stay away. Stewart Rhodes, the extremist loon who founded the group, made a statement about it on their website that shows he has absolutely no idea what due process means. … [Read more...]

So Much for that ‘War on Cops’ the Right is Imagining


A police officer is killed in the line of duty. Right wing pundits and talk show hosts immediately seize on the opportunity to blame it on their political enemies, claiming that President Obama and Black Lives Matter is fomenting a "war on cops" and that this is the deadly result of their attempts to make the police stop engaging in widespread abuse, particularly against dark-skinned people. The problem: The evidence clearly disproves their argument. … [Read more...]

Seattle Police Union Official Should Really STFU


Ron Smith, the president of the Seattle Police Officer's Guild, is accusing the Obama administration of declaring a "war on cops." He posted a video to the police union's Facebook page from Fox News where one of their many dim bulb talking heads made that same accusation and captioned it "Truth." It was later removed from the page, but not before Smith confirmed that he had posted it and said that he agrees with it 100%. … [Read more...]

Campaign Zero: A Great Start on Criminal Justice Reform


When Hillary Clinton met with activists from the #blacklivesmatter movement recently, she told them that just complaining about police and racism, while it's a good idea, isn't enough. To really affect change, she told them, they had to have a real policy platform of changes to demand that would fix the problem. They have now done so with Campaign Zero, a series of ten reforms (so far; they've promised to update it as new ideas come in) that would reduce the problem of systemic racism in our … [Read more...]

Jeb Bush Thinks the NSA Needs Even More Power


Jeb Bush, like his brother, thinks that the executive branch can't possibly have enough power, especially when it comes to surveillance (all while claiming to be advocates of "smaller government," which is nothing more than a marketing slogan). That's why he said at a forum in South Carolina that we've shifted the balance too far in favor of civil liberties and taken too much power away from the NSA. … [Read more...]

Nebraska School Requiring McCarthy-era Loyalty Oaths

Bundesarchiv, Bild 101III-Weill-096-27 / Weill / CC-BY-SA

From the I'm Sorry, What Decade Is This Department: A public school in Nebraska is requiring its teachers to sign McCarthy-era loyalty oaths, apparently after some wingnut called and asked the superintendent of the school district why they didn't require them. Apparently there's some 1951 law requiring them, a law that no other school in the state evidently follows and that is blatantly unconstitutional. … [Read more...]

Obama Insists on Inhumane Policy Toward Immigrant Families

A federal judge recently ruled that the Obama administration's policy of holding immigrant mothers and children from Central America in deplorable conditions indefinitely was illegal and ordered them to release those being held. But Obama, whose civil liberties record is appalling, isn't one to give up that easily. … [Read more...]

The Pentagon’s Awful New Policy on Embedded Journalists

The Pentagon has released a new manual with its policies on the laws of war and it includes a dangerously broad update to the military's approach to dealing with journalists. The new guidelines give commanders on the ground far too much power and brand journalists as potential traitors. The New York Times editorial board is strongly criticizing them: … [Read more...]

Another Terrible Court Ruling on Drug Dogs

My old friend Radley Balko takes note of a recent ruling from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals that is quite appalling, though in line with the equally terrible Supreme Court precedents in the area. He explains the details of this particular case: … [Read more...]