Nebraska School Requiring McCarthy-era Loyalty Oaths

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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...]

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...]