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Category Archives: Courts

The Supreme Court guards its privacy. Too bad it doesn’t care about yours and mine

Salon: “To use Justice Samuel Alito’s criteria in his recently-leaked draft opinion overruling Roe v. Wade, where is it written in the Constitution that practically everything that happens at the Supreme Court is secret? The answer, my worthies, is that it is nowhere to be found in the Constitution. Secrecy — or, if you will, privacy — at the court is another one of those invented rights Alito and his pals are so fond of yapping about. The secrecy of that august body is almost absolute: Everything that happens at the Supreme Court, with the exception of its hearings and the publication of its decisions, is secret. The court maintains complete secrecy about how and why it chooses which cases to hear. The conferences held by justices during which they decide cases and record their votes is so secret they don’t even allow their clerks inside the doors when they consider the arguments on either side of a case. Most justices demand that their clerks take an oath to keep secret everything they learn while carrying out their jobs.  There are no federal laws which mandate or govern the secrecy enjoyed by the Supreme Court. In fact, whoever leaked the Alito draft opinion cannot even be prosecuted, because he or she broke no law. There is nothing in federal statute or in the Constitution itself, for that matter, which mandates that draft opinions — or any other document produced at the court by the justices or their clerks or anyone else — be kept away from the prying eyes of the press or the public which, by the way, pays the salary of everyone working in that pile of Vermont and Georgia marble located just behind the Capitol…”

The Post-Roe Battleground for Abortion Pills Will Be Your Mailbox

Wired – “If regulation of abortion access falls to the states, it will unleash legal havoc over pregnancy-ending medications that are shipped across state lines. The draft legal opinion leaked from the Supreme Court that promises to overturn the right to abortion in the United States says it will “return that authority to the people… Continue Reading

Why Roe v. Wade must be defended

The Lancet – Editorial | Volume 399, ISSUE 10338, P1845, May 14, 2022. DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(22)00870-4: “Abortion presents a profound moral issue on which Americans hold sharply conflicting views.” So begins a draft opinion by Associate Justice Samuel Alito, leaked from the US Supreme Court on May 2, 2022. If confirmed, this judgement would overrule the… Continue Reading

How a Digital Abortion Footprint Could Lead to Criminal Charges

TIME: “Getting away with breaking the law in the digital age is tricky. Almost everything one does—whether it’s making a Google search for “how to clean up a crime scene,” purchasing suspicious items on Amazon, or merely having been in the proximity of a crime scene with a cell phone that had its location services… Continue Reading

57% of Americans say masks should be required on airplanes and public transportation

Pew Research Center: “A majority of U.S. adults (57%) say travelers on airplanes and public transportation should be required to wear masks, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. A smaller share (42%) say travelers should not be required to wear masks in these situations. In April, a federal judge in Florida struck down… Continue Reading

Is Unauthorized Dissemination of a Draft Supreme Court Opinion a Federal Crime?

CRS Legal Sidebar – Is Unauthorized Dissemination of a Draft Supreme Court Opinion a Federal Crime? May 10, 2022 – “…Although federal law does prohibit the dissemination of certain kinds of government information—such as “classified” information related to national security—there does not appear to be a federal criminal statute expressly prohibiting unauthorized sharing of Supreme… Continue Reading

Clearview AI Banned From Selling Facial Recognition Database Access to Companies

EPIC: “A legal settlement filed in ACLU v. Clearview AI will prohibit Clearview from selling access to its facial recognition database to companies and private individuals. The case was brought under Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), which allows private right of actions. EPIC previously filed an amicus brief before the 9th Circuit defending an individual’s right… Continue Reading

Digital Security and Privacy Tips for Those Involved in Abortion Access

EFF: “Legislation deputizing people to find, sue, and collect damages from anyone who tries to help people seeking abortion care creates serious digital privacy and security risks for those involved in abortion access. Patients, their family members and friends, doctors, nurses, clinic staff, reproductive rights activists, abortion rights counselors and website operators, insurance providers, and… Continue Reading

Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, May 8, 2022

Via LLRX – Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, May 8, 2022 – Privacy and cybersecurity issues impact every aspect of our lives – home, work, travel, education, health and medical records – to name but a few. On a weekly basis Pete Weiss highlights articles and information that focus on the increasingly… Continue Reading

Visualizing Abortion Restrictions

FiveThirtyEight – Undue Burden How abortion restrictions have become obstacles for women across the U.S. By Anna Wiederkehr and Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux. Illustrations by Nicole Rifkin “Abortion is a constitutional right — at least for now. But for many women, it’s a right that comes with an asterisk. Under current law, states can’t ban abortion until… Continue Reading

Next battle over access to abortion will focus on pills

AP: “It took two trips over state lines, navigating icy roads and a patchwork of state laws, for a 32-year-old South Dakota woman to get abortion pills last year. For abortion-seekers like her, such journeys, along with pills sent through the mail, will grow in importance if the Supreme Court follows through with its leaked… Continue Reading