Jerry Jackson

Posts Tagged ‘Law’

Court to Obama: Just ignore Congress

In Human Rights, Military, Police State, Society, World News on April 15, 2011 at 5:43 am

An immigration enforcement advocacy organization says this week’s ruling from the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals against Arizona’s immigration law encourages the rampant lawlessness of illegal immigrants.

A three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit recently made a highly politicized decision to uphold the ruling of a federal judge who blocked the provisions of S.B. 1070 that would have allowed law enforcement offers to stop anyone upon “reasonable suspicion” of their legal status. The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) deems this decision a victory for the Obama administration, which had filed a lawsuit to challenge the Arizona law. (See related article)

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FAIR spokesman Ira Mehlman says the ruling gives President Barack Obama the power to ignore the will of Congress.


“The decision handed down by the Ninth Circuit is actually in conflict with other circuit court rulings,” Mehlman points out. “So this is something that’s ultimately going to have to be resolved by the U.S. Supreme Court, and should be sooner rather than later. But in the meantime, it is disappointing. Essentially what the Ninth Circuit said is that the administration has unlimited discretion [on] how to enforce our immigration laws, or even whether to enforce our immigration laws — and that the intent of Congress really is irrelevant.”

He concludes that “the administration’s lawsuit against Arizona was never about constitutional issues; it was about the administration’s political objective.”

However, the FAIR spokesman says the Constitution is clear on the fact that immigration laws are made by Congress and that it is the executive branch’s duty to carry out those out.

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In Case Your School Isn’t Zero-Intolerant Enough

In Human Rights, Society on February 23, 2011 at 2:27 am

Brazilian Federal Highway Police at work.

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By now, we’re almost numbed to stories likethis one, in which an 11-year-old boy who was told by his therapist to draw pictures instead of act up when he was upset ended up being hauled off to the principal’s office after drawing some stick figure violence and the phrase “teacher must die.” But what gives this Drudge-bait a little extra oomph is that when the school proved to be insufficiently hardass about the incident, the cops came in.

The school was aware that the boy was in treatment, determined he was not a threat, notified his parents and sent him back to class. His mother, “Jane” was shocked when Arvada Police showed up at their home later that night.

She says she told her son to cooperate and tell the truth, but was horrified when they told her they were arresting him and then handcuffed him and hauled him away in a patrol car. His mother says she begged police to let her drive her son to the police department and to let her stay with him through the booking process but they refused.

They put him in a cell, took his mug shot and fingerprinted him. He says he thought he was going to jail and would never be able to go home again. […]

At first school officials did not want to press charges, but changed their mind when police called them later that night. A juvenile assessment report shows he’s never been in legal trouble before and is at low risk to reoffend. […]

[H]is parents say it has cost them thousands of dollars so far.

Sometimes I try to re-imagine the routine hijinks of my Carter-Reagan adolescence through the lens of modern-day tolerance and law enforcement…nope, can’t do it.

Reason on school zero-tolerance policies here.

The Fourth Amendment is Going Dark

In Internet Censorship on February 19, 2011 at 4:42 pm

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FBI Badge & gun.

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In 1994 the FBI decided it needed a surveillance system built into the telephone network to enable it to listen to any conversation with the flip of a switch. Congress obliged by passing the Communication Assistance to Law Enforcement Act (CALEA), forcing the telecoms to rebuild their networks to be “wiretap ready.” Seventeen years later, law enforcement is asking to expand CALEA to include the Internet, claiming that its investigative abilities are “going dark” because people are increasingly communicating online.

The parameters of this proposal are very unclear, but some scary ideas have been bandied around.

Expanding CALEA would force companies to re-engineer all of their communications software to have a surveillance back door that could be easily accessed by law enforcement. This back door would apply to every form of peer-to-peer communication; from email, to social networking, to video games. The government would have to get a search warrant to utilize the back door, but imagine a world where the government required every home to be built with cameras and microphones pre-installed. Even knowing they could only be “tapped” after probable cause was established, how comfortable would you be?
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Then there is the message this would send to the rest of the world. If this comes to pass, other governments — including repressive regimes like China and Iran — could follow suit, justifiably claiming they were just following our lead. We have seen the role the Internet can play in human rights movements, such as the Green Revolution and the recent demonstrations in Egypt. These would not have been possible if the Internet did not allow for private and anonymous communication.

Nor is it clear this is necessary. Current law provides more than sufficient means for law enforcement to demand assistance of anyone — from a landlord to an internet service provider — in executing a wiretap order. Any company that refused to comply could be held in contempt of court.

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Applying CALEA to online communications would be a sweeping expansion of law enforcement surveillance powers that is unnecessary and chills our First and Fourth Amendment rights. Many of the civil liberties benefits of the Internet — ability to read provocative materials, associate with non-mainstream groups, and voice dissenting opinions — are based on the assumption of practical anonymity. If a surveillance structure is built into the Internet, individuals will lose the freedom and openness that has allowed the Internet to thrive.

Tell Congress to oppose any effort to make the Internet wiretap ready.

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Amendment will allow government agency to use private sector to monitor the Internet

In Human Rights, Internet Censorship on February 6, 2011 at 12:50 am

Reporters Without Borders condemns the National Assembly’s adoption of an amendment proposed by the government that could allow the High Authority for the Diffusion of Art Works and Copyright Protection on the Internet (HADOPI) to pay private-sector companies to carry out online surveillance and filtering.

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World Day Against Cyber Censorship. March 15, 2011

Adopted discreetly on the night of 1 February, Amendment 151 to the Law on Simplifying and Improving the Quality of Laws would permit the HADOPI to “provide support for innovative research and experimentation projects by state or privately-owned entities that help the Authority to fulfil its mission.”

Reporters Without Borders supports the decision taken by the Socialist Party’s parliamentary group to refer the amendment to the Constitutional Council. The Laws Commission and some of the ruling party’s parliamentarians also opposed the amendment.

Under the guise of simplifying the relevant legislation, the amendment will enable the HADOPI to use the private sector to help it carry out its job of monitoring the licit and illicit use of copyright-protected works online. Reporters Without Borders fears the possibility of impartiality in an area affecting fundamental freedoms.

continue reading here.

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