ACLU Sues Indiana Governor Over Refugee Refusal


In the first of what I anticipate will be many such cases, the ACLU has filed a federal lawsuit against Indiana Gov. Mike Pence for his refusal to allow a Syrian refugee family from moving to that state. That declaration is rather blatantly unconstitutional. Indeed, it's difficult to imagine what the state's legal defense might actually be in arguing that Pence has such authority. … [Read more...]

New Huckabee Lie Reveals Hypocrisy on Immigration Deferrals


You may be vaguely familiar with the case of the Romeike family from Germany. They came to the U.S. seeking asylum after Germany banned homeschooling but were denied. The case went to several courts that upheld the refusal for asylum and the Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal. Then the DHS decided to give them a deferral to avoid deportation anyway. Huckabee lies about that case: … [Read more...]

Kansas Republicans Shred the Separation of Powers


The Republican party in Kansas, led by Gov. Sam Brownback, appears to have lost its damn mind. In one of the most absurd power grabs I have ever seen, they were so upset by the courts in that state overturning their cuts to education funding that they passed a law saying that they passed a judicial administration law that said if they overturned that law, it would void all funding for the entire Kansas judicial system. … [Read more...]

Ben Carson Wants to Ban Religious Hate Speech

Credit: Michael Vadon

Ben Carson released his plan to defeat ISIS in a Washington Post column on Wednesday and, as one might expect, it's mostly ignorant babble for someone who is utterly clueless about virtually everything. That includes the Constitution, because the weirdest part of his plan is that he wants to ban religious hate speech -- but only Muslim hate speech, I'm sure. … [Read more...]

TN School Has Christian Flag at School Board Meetings


The Freedom From Religion Foundation has sent a letter to the Unicoi County Schools Board of Education demanding that they remove a Christian flag that sits in their board meeting room, which is a blatantly obvious violation of the Establishment Clause. The board says their attorney is looking into it, but they have no plans to remove the flag at this time. … [Read more...]

Alabama ‘Gets Serious’ With Same Bad Arguments Against Same-Sex Marriage


The Worldnetdaily wants you to know that Alabama is "getting serious" in their "fight against gay marriage." And by "getting serious" they mean that a group of anti-gay bigots filed a brief asking the Alabama Supreme Court to declare the SCOTUS ruling in Obergefell to be non-binding and irrelevant. But that brief is just a rehash of all the old, tired arguments we've been hearing for years. … [Read more...]

Scalia: Government Officials Can Ignore SCOTUS If They Want


Justice Antonin Scalia spoke at Princeton with Prof. Robert George, a virulently anti-gay but nonetheless brilliant law professor from that school. There is no recording of the event, but George described in great detail some of the things Scalia said on his Facebook page. And at one point, according to him, Scalia said that government officials are free to ignore the Supreme Court if they don't like their ruling: … [Read more...]

Cop, Prosecutor Go Full-On Demagogue Over Asset Forfeiture


A Republican state legislator in Oklahoma is trying to pass a bill that would require a criminal conviction before the government can keep property seized during an investigation. That is, of course, the only constitutional way to do it. But a police officer and a district attorney from Tulsa are fighting against that with lurid tales of Mexican drug cartels taking over the state and forcing kids to shoot the marijuana. … [Read more...]

SCOTUS Grants Cert in Texas Abortion Restriction Case

As expected, the Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal of one of the many cases in the federal courts challenging Targeted Restriction of Abortion Providers (TRAP) laws. The cert they granted is a challenge to a law passed in Texas that, if it is allowed to stand, would make abortion far more difficult for women to get in that state, especially in rural areas. … [Read more...]

Government Wants Even More Power to Seize Assets


As if asset forfeitures in this country weren't already out of control, the Obama administration wants to make the rules even more unconstitutional than they already are. In a case heard by the Supreme Court this week, the DOJ argued that the government should be able to seize assets that they admit have no connection to a crime before someone is ever even put on trial for a crime they're accused of. Friend of Dispatches Radley Balko cites Damon Root on the facts of the case: … [Read more...]

DOJ Doing Something About Unjust Indigent Defense System


I've said many times that Obama's record on civil liberties issues is generally very bad, but there are some bright spots. His support for the right to record the police is one. And now the DOJ is getting involved in pushing for reform in our indigent defense system, which is so unjust and ineffective that it should be viewed as a constitutional crisis. … [Read more...]

SCOTUS Likely to Hear Abortion Case This Term


When the Republicans took over most of the state legislatures in 2010, they embarked on a campaign to pass as many laws as possible -- well over 100 of them -- that would make it more expensive and difficult to keep an abortion clinic open. They're called TRAP laws -- Targeted Restriction of Abortion Providers. And it's likely that the Supreme Court will be taking up a challenge to such laws this term. … [Read more...]