Here We Go Again

November 18, 2015 by

“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Benjamin Franklin, 1755. “On Monday, in unusually raw language, John Brennan, the C.I.A. director, denounced what he called ‘hand-wringing’ over intrusive government spying.” N.Y. Times, November 17, 2015. In the aftermath of the 9/11 attack, Congress passed the Patriot Act, which greatly expanded surveillance of both foreigners and United States citizens. We gave up liberty and privacy to secure safety. Recently, after the Snowden revelations about the scope of liberty and privacy that was sacrificed in the name of security, some in […] More...
 

What’s The Impact Of The Yates Memo In The Real World?

September 24, 2015 by

Heralded in a DOJ press release as the key to increased prosecutions of high-level corporate executives who have otherwise allegedly “insulated” themselves from criminal responsibility for corporate acts (presumably because they are, by definition, not involved in or even aware of criminal conduct by lower level employees), at least one aspect of the new DOJ policy on corporate “cooperation” has real-life consequences for how corporations respond to federal investigations in the future. The Yates Memo, promulgated by DOJ on September 9, 2015, provides in paragraph 1 of its “six key steps” that “to be eligible for any credit for cooperation, […] More...
 

The Supremes Take On Gay Marriage

December 12, 2012 by

I hated Con Law in law school. It wasn’t the results that I minded so much. At the time we were still in the afterglow of the Warren Court’s expansion of individual rights. The Court was in sync with the civil rights movement. It had recently struck down, for example, the laws prohibiting racial intermarriage that were still on the books in sixteen states. What I hated about Con Law was the attempt by professors to explain Supreme Court decisions as the logical application of legal principles, when it was pretty clear many were just result oriented political decisions. Ideology cloaked as legal reasoning. If you wanted to strike down a state law on equal protection grounds, you applied strict scrutiny. If you didn’t, you applied a rational relationship test. More...
 

Out of Left Field

January 04, 2011 by

We all use email everyday, much more often than we use the U.S. Mail, faxes or even telephones. And we have all read horror stories about email evidence in civil and criminal cases. But most of us haven’t given a lot of thought to whether the Fourth Amendment protects emails from seizure by the government without a warrant supported by probable cause. More...