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Category Archives: Civil Liberties

Titles of 13 New “Secret Laws” Revealed

“The Project On Government Oversight has obtained new details about legal opinions from the Justice Department’s secretive Office of Legal Counsel (OLC), including 13 previously unreleased memo titles, and the dates of memos whose titles remain redacted. Obtained through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the newly released memo titles reveal some of the subjects… Continue Reading

The Indian Law That Helps Build Walls

The Supreme Court’s legal abuse of Native Americans set the stage for America’s poor treatment of many of its vulnerable populations. By Maggie Blackhawk. Ms. Blackhawk is an assistant professor of law at the University of Pennsylvania. “The first two years of the Trump administration have brought us horror story after horror story about our… Continue Reading

CRS – The Federal Bureau of Investigation: Just the Facts

The Federal Bureau of Investigation: Just the Facts – May 12, 2017: “The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has more than 36,000 employees and describes itself as an “intelligence-driven, threat-focused national security organization.”It is a part of the Department of Justice and the Director of the FBI reports to the U.S. Attorney General and the… Continue Reading

Online identification is getting more and more intrusive

The Economist [paywall] – Phones can now tell who is carrying them from their users’ gaits “…LexisNexis Risk Solutions, an American analytics firm, has catalogued more than 4 billion phones, tablets and other computers in this way for banks and other clients. Roughly 7% of them have been used for shenanigans of some sort. But… Continue Reading

Commentary – Put Harriet Tubman on the $20 Bill

Cato Institute: “Washington’s latest symbolic battle is looming. America’s money celebrates its early political leaders, white males all. There’s now a campaign to provide for greater currency diversity. The group Women on 20s held a poll on what woman should be added: the victor was famed antislavery activist Harriet Tubman, who narrowly beat out First… Continue Reading

Democracy in Retreat Freedom in the World 2019

“In 2018, Freedom in the World recorded the 13th consecutive year of decline in global freedom. The reversal has spanned a variety of countries in every region, from long-standing democracies like the United States to consolidated authoritarian regimes like China and Russia. The overall losses are still shallow compared with the gains of the late… Continue Reading

Burgeoning Workloads for Immigration Judges Inbox x

“The hiring pace for new judges continues to be insufficient to keep up with the Immigration Court’s workload. As a result, the court’s backlog continues to climb – up 65 percent since President Trump assumed office. A total of only 424 judges face a backlog of 892,517 cases on the courts’ active dockets as of… Continue Reading

Study – Climate crisis more politically polarizing than abortion for US voters

The Guardian – Democrats ranked global heating as the third most important issue on their list, while Republican voters ranked it last in a Yale poll: “Surging concern among Americans about an overheating planet has done little to shift a political polarization that has now reached a stunning extreme: climate breakdown divides Democrats and Republicans… Continue Reading

PBS Frontline – Supreme Revenge

Season 37: Episode 14 – “Inside the no-holds-barred war for control of the Supreme Court. From Brett Kavanaugh to Robert Bork, an investigation of how a 30-year-old grievance transformed the court and turned confirmations into bitter, partisan conflicts.” See also Law.com [subscription req’d] – New Documentary Examines Supreme Court Confirmations From Bork to Kavanaugh. “The… Continue Reading

Finland is winning the war on fake news. What it’s learned may be crucial to Western democracy.

CNN – “…Finland has faced down Kremlin-backed propaganda campaigns ever since it declared independence from Russia 101 years ago. But in 2014, after Moscow annexed Crimea and backed rebels in eastern Ukraine, it became obvious that the battlefield had shifted: information warfare was moving online. Toivanen, the chief communications specialist for the prime minister’s office,… Continue Reading

The Lack of Diversity on the Magistrate Judge Bench

Jennifer L. Thurston, Black Robes, White Judges: The Lack of Diversity on the Magistrate Judge Bench, 82 Law and Contemporary Problems 63-102 (2019) [h/t Mary Whisner] “…From 2009 to 2016, females on the district court bench increased 13.2%, from 19.4% to 32.6%, and non-white district judges increased 10.6%, from 16.4% to 27.0%.24 During this same… Continue Reading

What happened to the MSPB?

U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board Congressional Budget Justification FY 2020: “Over the last year, the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB or Board) has worked to improve the effectiveness and long-term impact of its missions function in response to the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) memorandum M-17-22, “Comprehensive Plan for Reforming the Federal Government… Continue Reading