US Legal Issues
As victims’ families call for criminal prosecution
By Barry Grey, 3 April 2014
For the second consecutive day, General Motors CEO Mary Barra appeared before a congressional panel and refused to provide answers regarding the company’s cover-up of an ignition switch defect linked to at least 13 deaths and 31 crashes.
By Tom Carter, 12 February 2014
If the government can order the assassination of US citizens in the name of national security, what can it not do? All the methods of a police state dictatorship become equally possible.
By Tom Carter, 30 January 2014
The Supreme Court ruled Monday that the unions had bargained away steel workers' right to receive overtime pay for time spent putting on personal protective equipment.
By Nick Barrickman, 25 January 2014
Authorities utilized a three-drug protocol for the lethal injection that included a lethal dose of pentobarbital, an anesthetic commonly used to euthanize animals.
By Bill Van Auken, 23 January 2014
Edgar Tamayo was put to death by lethal injection Wednesday night after Texas authorities rejected a World Court ruling requiring that they review his case and those of other Mexicans on death row.
By Thomas Gaist, 16 January 2014
The Open Internet regulations prohibited the selective blocking of slowing of legal Internet content by Internet providers.
By John Andrews, 16 January 2014
The acquittal of two officers captured on video beating to death a homeless, mentally ill man in Orange County, California has been met with widespread anger.
By Tom Carter, 31 December 2013
US District Judge William H. Pauley’s ruling in the case of ACLU v. Clapper on December 27, which sanctions NSA surveillance of the telephone records of the entire country’s population, has immense significance for democratic rights.
By Bill Van Auken, 18 December 2013
The ruling by Judge Richard Leon, while doing nothing to curb the NSA’s mass spying operations, nonetheless acknowledges that they embody the methods of a police state.
By John Burton, 17 December 2013
A federal judge in Washington, DC has ruled that the NSA’s collection of telephone data on virtually every person in the United States violates the Fourth Amendment’s protection against “unreasonable searches and seizures.”
By John Burton, 17 December 2013
FBI agents arrested 18 Los Angeles County Sheriff employees on charges of conspiracy, abuse of inmates and lying.
By Barry Grey, 17 December 2013
Deferred prosecution and non-prosecution agreements have proliferated under the Obama administration, in accordance with its policy of not prosecuting major banks or corporations.
By John Burton, 26 November 2013
Administration lawyers used the standard “war on terror” pretext to justify the NSA’s collection of telephone data on virtually every person in the United States.
By Kate Randall, 23 August 2013
The Justice Department petition argues that warrantless cell phone searches do not violate Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches and seizures.
By Niles Williamson, 6 August 2013
A Reuters report describes how federal law enforcement agencies that utilize evidence obtained from illegal domestic spying programs are trained to "recreate" the investigative trail in a manner that violates defendants’ right to a fair trial.
By Matthew MacEgan, 6 August 2013
The sentencing phase of the Bradley Manning court martial continued Monday with the testimony of Undersecretary of State Patrick Kennedy.
By Joseph Kishore, 4 June 2013
The US Supreme Court decision is a major attack on the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures.
By John Burton, 23 April 2013
The Supreme Court ruled unanimously that foreign citizens subjected to human rights abuses outside the US cannot sue corporations or individuals in US courts.
By John Burton, 23 April 2013
Paul Hoffman, a partner in the Venice, California law firm of Schonbrun, DeSimone, Seplow, Harris, Hoffman & Harrison, has been representing plaintiffs in cases under the Alien Tort Statute for the last 30 years.
By Barry Grey, 30 March 2013
There is a clear issue of democratic rights in the same-sex marriage question. Having said that, claims that recognition of same-sex marriage signifies a new flowering of democratic rights lack any credibility.
By Ed Hightower, 19 March 2013
The Treasury’s proposal represents yet another front in the escalating attack on democratic rights, especially the rights to privacy and freedom of association.
By John Burton, 28 February 2013
In dismissing the suit, the Supreme Court majority adopted the positions urged by Obama administration lawyers in their briefs and at oral argument last October.
By Joseph Kishore, 5 February 2013
Secret legal arguments prepared by the government are part of an effort to expand cyberwar strikes against other countries, particularly Iran and China.
By Niles Williamson, 24 January 2013
A US appeals court upheld the unpopular 2011 Wisconsin Budget Repair Bill (also known as Act 10) that sparked mass protests in the spring of 2011.
By Eric London, 11 January 2013
Eighteen veterans kill themselves each day, and the three branches of government have each answered with callous indifference.
By Naomi Spencer, 10 January 2013
Manning was granted only a 112-day reduction in sentencing on a life term in hearings this week.
By Naomi Spencer, 30 November 2012
Bradley Manning took the stand to speak on his pre-trial detention Thursday. It was the first public statement from the accused whistleblower in over two years.
By Naomi Spencer, 30 November 2012
Psychiatrists testified Wednesday that recommendations to end Manning’s solitary confinement were ignored.
By Bill Van Auken, 19 October 2012
In the latest in a seemingly endless series of “sting” operations, the FBI ensnared a 21-year-old Bangladeshi student in a fabricated plot to blow up the New York Federal Reserve.
By Tom Carter, 19 October 2012
The arguments in favor of affirmative action further exposed the gulf that separates a program for genuine social equality from the essentially undemocratic affirmative action policy.
By Tom Carter, 4 October 2012
In a significant number of cases expected to come before the US Supreme Court this term, democratic rights are in jeopardy.
By Ed Hightower, 30 August 2012
In a ruling handed down August 21, the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans upheld a Texas regulation that effectively cuts off funding to clinics operated by Planned Parenthood.
By Tom Carter, 20 August 2012
The Al-Aulaqi v. Panetta lawsuit highlights the extent to which democratic rights and the rule of law have been eroded under the Obama administration.
By Richard Hoffman, 28 June 2012
The unremarkable reasoning underlying the majority’s decision only places in sharper relief the barbarous character of the four dissenting judgments.
Arizona v. United States
By Kevin Kearney, 26 June 2012
The court ruling leaves in place the most reactionary and antidemocratic feature of Arizona’s SB 1070 law, the mandate that local and state police check the immigration status of anyone they detain or question.
By Tom Carter, 26 April 2012
The oral arguments yesterday before the US Supreme Court over Arizona’s anti-immigrant act are chiefly remarkable for the refusal of the Obama administration to mount any serious opposition to the unprecedented and authoritarian provisions of the law.
By Tom Carter, 19 April 2012
With the support of the Obama administration, the US Supreme Court Tuesday expanded the reach of a reactionary legal doctrine that immunizes government agents who violate the Constitution from litigation.
By John Burton, 5 April 2012
The Obama administration played a key role in Monday’s Supreme Court decision to allow blanket strip searches of people arrested for minor offenses.
By Kate Randall, 27 March 2012
The US Supreme Court began hearing oral arguments Monday into the constitutionality of the Obama administration’s health care legislation.
By Ed Hightower, 27 March 2012
The 2010 mid-term elections put Republicans in control of many state legislatures, largely due to the disaffection, arising from the administration’s right-wing policies, of many who had voted for Barack Obama in 2008. Since then, at least 17 states have attempted to restrict voting rights in advance of the November ballot.
By John Burton, 20 March 2012
The Supreme Court continues to weaken key provisions of the Bill of Rights, last month issuing reactionary decisions protecting police who serve illegal warrants and conduct interrogations without giving people their rights.
By Tom Carter, 24 January 2012
Recent Supreme Court opinions involving religion, voting rights and warrantless surveillance cast a shadow over existing democratic legal protections.
By Tom Carter, 12 January 2012
The videotapes sought by the Center for Constitutional Rights constitute important evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
By Tom Carter, 14 December 2011
The announcement Monday by the US Supreme Court that it will review a decision striking down provisions of Arizona’s unprecedented anti-immigrant law casts a shadow over what had been considered historically settled questions affecting democratic rights.
By Kevin Kearney, 13 December 2011
The Supreme Court announced Monday it will review a lower court decision striking down provisions of an Arizona anti-immigrant law.
By Patrick Martin, 16 November 2011
The high court is expected to make a decision on the constitutionality of the health care law in the midst of next year’s presidential election campaign.
By Alan Gilman, 14 October 2011
The Los Angeles County Jail, the nation’s largest, with over 17,000 inmates, continues to be plagued by brutal assaults upon its inmates by deputies of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
By Tom Carter, 10 October 2011
Anwar al-Awlaki was selected for assassination as a test case that, if successful, would set a precedent according to which the executive branch of the US government has the unreviewable power to secretly liquidate its political opponents, including US citizens.
White House urges Supreme Court to approve health care “reform” and deepen attacks on democratic rights
By John Burton, 4 October 2011
Obama administration lawyers have filed briefs in many of the cases set for review by the Supreme Court this term, urging approval of the cost-cutting health care overhaul and rollbacks on constitutional rights.
By Patrick Zimmerman, 5 August 2011
Aaron Swartz, a researcher at Harvard is being pursued by government authorities for alleged wire fraud.
By Naomi Spencer, 12 July 2011
A federal trial has begun against five current and former New Orleans police officers charged in the killing and maiming of six unarmed residents in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
By David Walsh, 8 July 2011
The acquittal of 25-year-old Casey Anthony in Orlando, Florida Tuesday on charges of murdering her child in June 2008 points to a fact of some social significance.
By Tom Carter, 27 June 2011
The US Supreme Court is steadily shielding corporate criminality while cutting back fundamental democratic rights.
By Tom Carter, 21 June 2011
The US Supreme Court ruling yesterday means that the larger the corporation, the less susceptible it will be to class action lawsuits by its employees.
By Tom Carter, 19 May 2011
A decision Monday by the US Supreme Court represents a further major step in abolishing the basic civil liberties protections in the Bill of Rights and enhancing the arbitrary powers of the police.
By Bill Van Auken, 12 April 2011
The travesty of a trial of Posada Carriles on immigration-related charges let the veteran terrorist and CIA agent walk free, despite being wanted for the killing of scores of civilians.
By John Burton, 11 April 2011
In two reactionary rulings, the Supreme Court cancelled a jury award to a man falsely convicted of murder due to prosecutorial misconduct and ruled that taxpayers cannot sue for the diversion of tax revenue to religious schools.
By Michael Stapleton, 9 March 2011
On February 28, in the case Michigan v. Bryant, the US Supreme Court issued yet another decision undermining the right of someone accused of a crime to question his or her accusers.
By Andre Damon, 3 March 2011
The US Department of Justice has quietly dropped its investigation of Angelo Mozilo, the former head of mortgage lender Countrywide Financial and one of the most culpable figures in the financial meltdown of 2008.
By Ed Hightower and Tom Carter, 4 February 2011
The persecution of ex-CIA agent and whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling reveals that the Obama administration is prepared use any means necessary to keep the lid on its dirty secrets.
By Tom Eley, 27 January 2011
For years Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas violated a law requiring justices reveal their spouse’s income and employers, during which time his wife, Virginia Thomas, received hundreds of thousands dollars from right-wing and pro-corporate groups.
By Don Knowland, 11 January 2011
A subpoena obtained by the US government amounts to confirmation that prosecutors have convened a grand jury in an effort to indict WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and perhaps others on charges of conspiring to steal documents with Army private Bradley Manning.
By Barry Grey, 4 January 2011
On December 30, two days before assuming the governorship of New York, Attorney General Andrew Cuomo announced a settlement of fraud charges against the Wall Street financier and former head of President Obama’s Auto Task Force, Steven Rattner.
By Barry Grey, 24 December 2010
New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo filed a civil suit Tuesday charging the accounting firm Ernst & Young with complicity in massive fraud committed by Lehman Brothers in the months leading up to the investment bank’s September 2008 collapse.
By Naomi Spencer and E.P. Bannon, 14 December 2010
Three New Orleans police officers have been convicted for an unprovoked killing and cover-up following Hurricane Katrina.
By Tom Carter, 9 December 2010
The dismissal Tuesday of a lawsuit that challenged the Obama administration’s targeted killing program underscores the decay of democratic processes in the United States.
By Jerry White, 23 November 2010
Steven Rattner—the chief architect of the attack on GM and Chrysler workers—has been implicated in a scheme aimed at channeling millions into his former private equity firm.
By Tom Eley, 19 November 2010
A federal court jury on Wednesday unexpectedly acquitted Guantánamo detainee Ahmed Khaifan Ghailani on 284 charges related to the 1998 terrorist attacks on the US Embassy in Tanzania.
By John Burton, 19 November 2010
The Obama administration has argued in the Supreme Court that taxpayers have no right to challenge unconstitutional governmental expenditures on religion.