Seattle Police Union Official Should Really STFU

PoliceBrutality

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

PoliceBrutality

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

JebBush2

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...]

Sex Work Should Be Legalized

Like many of the other bloggers on this network, I think it's high time that sex work be legalized for both principled and pragmatic reasons. The principle is obvious -- it isn't the government's, any government's, business what two consenting adults want to do with each other in private. Here's part of the pragmatic case: … [Read more...]

Paul, Booker Push Criminal Justice Reform

I've complained for years that Congress never tries to do anything to fix our unbelievably broken criminal justice system, mostly because there's no moneyed constituency to pay them to do it. Rand Paul and Corey Booker are teaming up in the Senate with legislation that would at least be a tiny step in the right direction. … [Read more...]

Durham Police Lie to Violate 4th Amendment

In Durham, North Carolina several police officers have been caught lying to people in order to gain illegal entry to search their homes. They've been telling people that they got a 911 call that never took place in order to get consent to search their homes. … [Read more...]

Obama’s Terrible 4th Amendment Record

One could be forgiven for thinking, in 2008, that President Obama would be a marked improvement over President Bush when it comes to the privacy rights in the 4th Amendment. But one would be wrong. He may, in fact, be worse. He's certainly been no better. A perfect example is the recent Supreme Court ruling on cell phone searches, in which his administration was on the losing end of a 9-0 decision. … [Read more...]

The Supreme Court Got One Right!

Not only did the Supreme Court get a ruling exactly right, it did so unanimously. On Wednesday, the Supreme Court handed down a ruling in Riley v United States that said police cannot search someone's cell phone data during or after an arrest without a warrant. … [Read more...]


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