Court: Mandatory Drug Testing of College Students Unconstitutional

The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last week that mandatory drug testing of college students was unconstitutional, upholding the district court's injunction to stop the practice. The suit was brought by the ACLU of Missouri. … [Read more...]

Trump’s CIA Nominee Wants Even More Invasive Surveillance

The man Donald Trump is nominating to lead the CIA, Rep. Mike Pompeo, is a big fan of government surveillance. In fact, he wants to go much further than either Presidents Bush or Obama went (and they pretty much shredded the 4th Amendment since 2001). … [Read more...]

Oklahoma Mandates Anti-Abortion Songs in Public Bathrooms

In a rather bizarre move, the state of Oklahoma is now requiring that anti-abortion signs be put up in all public bathrooms in the state. Why public bathrooms and not, say, movie theaters or record stores? I have no idea. I bet they don't either. … [Read more...]

Trump CIA Nominee Enthusiastically Pro-torture and Mass Surveillance

Rep. Mike Pompeo, Donald Trump's nominee to be CIA director, has some unsurprisingly disturbing views on two key issues, torture and mass surveillance. In short, he's an enthusiastic fan of both of those constitutionally and statutorily dubious practices. … [Read more...]

Judge: Government Hacking a Computer is a Search

It seems like this should be the most obvious thing in the known universe, but sadly it's not. A federal judge has ruled that when the government hacks into your computer to get information they otherwise would not have access to, that's a search under the 4th Amendment. DUH. … [Read more...]

Court: You Can’t Search a Car Because of the State It Comes From

In states that border states that have legal marijuana, either recreational or medicinal, the police often focus their attention on cars coming out of those states because it's more likely they're transporting pot. But an appeals court just ruled that you can't do a search merely because of that. … [Read more...]

Finally, a Federal Judge Says No to Warrantless ‘Stingray’ Searches

It's been known for many years that police departments and the federal government routinely use "stingray" devices to track and record cell phones without a warrant. Finally, one federal judge has ruled out evidence gathered in this clearly unconstitutional manner. … [Read more...]

Conservatives Suddenly Discover a Right to Privacy

For more than 50 years now, the right wing has raged against the idea that there is any such thing as a right to privacy in the Constitution. It began with Griswold v Connecticut (1965), which found that married couples had a right to purchase contraception. Now suddenly they love that right to privacy. Here's the Heritage Foundation: … [Read more...]

Michigan Welfare Drug Testing Catches No One

The state of Michigan has been doing a pilot program to drug test welfare recipients in a few counties. The Guardian reports that, to this point, not a single person has been found using illegal drugs. This is similar to the results in other states. … [Read more...]

SCOTUS Weakens the 4th Amendment Further

The 4th Amendment, which is on life support if it still exists at all, was weakened yet again by the Supreme Court in Utah v Strieff, a case involving a pretextual traffic stop and the exclusionary rule. It was a 5-3 ruling, with Breyer joining the conservatives on the court and Thomas writing the opinion (of course). … [Read more...]

When Ted Cruz Defended a Ban on Dildos

The state of Texas was one of three states that, just a few years ago, actually had a law that forbid the buying and selling of sex toys. And they enforced that law, which led to a legal challenge to it. When Ted Cruz was the Texas Solicitor General, he defended the constitutionality of that ban. … [Read more...]

Ted Cruz’ Odd Definition of Success

In defending his demand that law enforcement "patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods," Ted Cruz is pointing to the NYPD's Muslim surveillance program, which was ended in 2014 and the subject of a settled lawsuit between the ACLU and the city. He called the program "very successful" and the "finest there is in the world." … [Read more...]