AL Court Overturns Law SCOTUS Already Struck Down

An Alabama state appeals court has struck down that state's ban on consensual gay sex, a law that was already overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2003 in Lawrence v Texas. Ala. Code 1975 says that any "deviate sexual intercourse" is illegal and that consent does not matter: … [Read more...]

The Value of Edward Snowden

On the one-year anniversary of the first information reported based on documents leaked by Edward Snowden, Paul Szoldra offers a handy roundup of all the things that we know about only because of his leaks to Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras. A few highlights: … [Read more...]

Feds to Georgia: No Drug Testing Food Stamp Recipients

Several states have passed laws to drug test those who are on public assistance, but Georgia is the first to pass a law applying this to food stamp recipients. But since that is a federal program, the USDA has told Georgia that they cannot drug test as a condition for eligibility. … [Read more...]

Elmira School District Gets It Right

After the American Humanist Association sent a letter to the Elmira school district in New York because a teacher berated a student for not standing for the Pledge of Allegiance, the superintendent of that school district took swift action and told all teachers that students have a constitutional right not to do so. … [Read more...]

The Difference Between Secular and Christian Advocacy Groups

The Center for Inquiry has been pushing for the release of Meriam Ibrahim, the Christian woman in Sudan who has been sentenced to death by hanging for apostasy for refusing to renounce her religion. They've started email campaigns and protests over it contacted the Sudanese embassy over it. … [Read more...]

Stop and Frisk Comes to Florida

New York City is apparently not the only city in the country with a massive and racist stop and frisk program. Miami Gardens, Florida has a program that has stopped more than half that city's residents -- most of them young black men, of course -- and frisked them without arresting them. … [Read more...]

Appeals Court Upholds Right to Record Police

Another appeals court (I believe this is the third one) has ruled that there is a First Amendment right to video record the police when they're on duty. This case involves a woman who started to record a traffic stop, was told to stop (and did) but then they demanded the camera to delete it. … [Read more...]

House Passes Weak Bill to Restrain NSA

The House of Representatives passed a significantly weaker version of a bill to rein in the NSA's blatantly unconstitutional data mining programs than was originally considered. The USA Freedom Act does contain some useful safeguards, but nothing remotely like what the 4th Amendment requires: … [Read more...]

Feds to Record All Interrogations

In a huge and very important policy change, the Department of Justice has announced that all federal law enforcement agencies will now record their interrogations of suspects. This is a move that is crucial to making our criminal justice system more just and fair. … [Read more...]

Ordinance Banning Sex Toys Challenged in Court

Two citizens of Sandy Springs, Georgia are challenging a local ordinance that forbids the sale of sex toys to anyone without a "medical, scientific, educational, legislative, or law enforcement" purpose. But the arguments they're using don't go nearly far enough, in my view. … [Read more...]

Turek’s Absurd Conception of Rights

Christian apologist Frank Turek offers an argument we hear quite often from the Christian right. It's in the context of same-sex marriage, but we hear it in many other contexts as well, pretty much any time someone is granted a right that they don't think they ought to have. … [Read more...]

Dateline 1937: Student Punished for Not Saying Pledge

45 of 50 states now require schools to recite the Pledge of Allegiance every day, but the law says that no student can be forced to say it. But a student in Texas was just punished for refusing to say the pledge, both by his teacher and the principal. … [Read more...]