Tag: Constitutional law

September 16, 2013

Appeals Court Rules TCPA Does Not Violate First Amendment

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit recently ruled that the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) does not violate the First Amendment by requiring robocallers to identify themselves when making calls. Three months before the Maryland gubernatorial election in 2010, political consultant Julius Henson and his company Universal Elections, Inc., were hired to… Read More

September 13, 2013

FBI Hacking Into Electronic Devices: An Effective But Invasive Tool

Privacy and national security interests are notoriously tricky to balance.  Lean too far one way, and you lose an important tool in preventing and detecting crime; lean too far the other way, and you are depriving Americans of their liberty through persistent government intrusion and observation. This balancing act has been an especially hot topic… Read More

August 12, 2013

Federal Judge Rejects NYPD’s ‘Stop and Frisk’ Policies

In a decision issued today that could potentially change the way police operate in the Big Apple, U.S. District Judge Shira A. Scheindlin (S.D.N.Y.) ruled that, for years, New York City police officers have been systematically stopping innocent people in the street without any objective reason to suspect that they were engaged in any kind… Read More

March 29, 2013

Judge Strikes Down FBI’s Use of ‘National Security Letters’

In a recent decision, U.S. District Judge Susan Illston of the Northern District of California struck down the FBI’s use of National Security Letters (NSLs) as unconstitutional. Unbeknownst to most Americans, the FBI has been issuing thousands of NSLs every year. The letters demand that recipients, such as banks and telephone companies, provide customers’ information… Read More

March 11, 2013

Court: Data on Unsecured Network May Qualify for 4th Amendment Protection

The vast increase in the use of wireless data networks has led to new legal issues regarding network users’ right to privacy. A recent opinion issued by the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon indicates that, under some circumstances, individuals on an unsecured wireless network have a reasonable expectation of privacy entitling them… Read More

February 20, 2013

Does ‘Speech or Debate’ Trump the Right to Defend Oneself in Court?

On February 5, 2013, the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the U.S. House of Representatives filed a brief urging the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to hold that U.S. legislators and their aides cannot be forced to testify about their legislative activities, even when their expected testimony might help exonerate a criminal… Read More

November 21, 2012

Domain Names and the First Amendment: The Latest Word

The intersection of domain names and the First Amendment is not new. Indeed, in the early days of the domain name system, courts considered the issue of whether a domain name registrar could prohibit the registration of domain names on the basis of content – for instance, domain names containing profanities. See Nat’l A-1 Advertising,… Read More

October 5, 2012

State AGs Challenge Legality of New Dodd-Frank Regulatory Group

Three states have joined a lawsuit to challenge the constitutionality of the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC), a Dodd-Frank-created regulatory body headed by the Treasury secretary. The panel, composed of top financial regulators, is charged with overseeing broad threats to the financial system, and has the power to liquidate failing non-bank financial institutions it views… Read More