Posted on May 14, 2014 by Michael
I’ve lost track of how many states have gained more freedom over the past year. Idaho is one of the latest:
A federal judge who struck down Idaho’s ban on gay marriage as unconstitutional denied a bid by the conservative state’s governor on Wednesday for a stay of the decision while Idaho pursues an appeal of the case.
The governor, Republican C.L. “Butch” Otter, called the ruling “regrettable” and vowed to petition a higher court to keep the state’s gay marriage prohibition intact until the case has run its course through the judicial system.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Candy Dale overturned Idaho’s ban on same-sex matrimony on Tuesday, saying it relegated gay and lesbian couples to second-class status in violation of constitutional guarantees of equal protection under the law.
Her decision was the latest in a recent flurry of opinions by federal judges striking down restrictions on same-sex marriage in states across the country – from Utah to Virginia.
It’s only a matter of time.
Filed under: Rights, Same-sex marriage | Tagged: Idaho, marriage | Leave a comment »
Posted on September 17, 2013 by Michael
I don’t remember who said it to me a little while ago, but I heard it argued that anonymous speech somehow, magically, mystically, without regard to common sense or the 1st Amendment, is not protected speech. Of course, it is and SCOTUS cases have confirmed as much. That brings me to this:
An anonymous poster, using the name “Artemis of the wildland” has been attempting to shame some Portland, Ore., residents who use food stamps…
A few weeks ago, similar flyers identified people receiving disability benefits, describing them as “a threat to the Republic.” Police investigators say that message could be considered hate speech.
This is unbelievably offensive. Not the douche threatening to ‘out’ welfare recipients. That’s just run of the mill stupidity. What’s offensive is that some anti-free speech crusader(s) called the (pretend*) Portland police who, in a continuing effort to harm free speech, actually investigated the matter. To make matters worse, they apparently believe that hate speech isn’t also free speech.
It’s pretty unimportant that some d-bag threatened to say who receives a particular type of income. Unless this person obtained the information illegally – and it isn’t even certain he or she has any real information – then there is absolutely nothing to investigate. What is important is that this protected, anonymous speech is being threatened by the government acting on behalf of a few butt-hurt citizens. Fuck them.
*Portland, Oregon is the hipster version of the original Portland in Maine – which, incidentally, is what the pretend West Coast Portland was named after. But I digress.
Filed under: Rights | Tagged: Artemis of the wildland, Free Speech, Portland Oregon | Leave a comment »
Posted on June 21, 2013 by Michael
In the Supreme Court’s continued efforts to destroy the Bill of Rights, the Fifth Amendment just took a big hit:
Here are the facts from Salinas v Texas: Two brothers were shot at home in Houston. There were no witnesses—only shotgun shell casings left at the scene. Genovevo Salinas had been at a party at that house the night before the shooting, and police invited him down to the station, where they talked for an hour. They did not arrest him or read him his Miranda warnings. Salinas agreed to give the police his shotgun for testing. Then the cops asked whether the gun would match the shells from the scene of the murder. According to the police, Salinas stopped talking, shuffled his feet, bit his lip, and started to tighten up.
At trial, Salinas did not testify, but prosecutors described his reportedly uncomfortable reaction to the question about his shotgun. Salinas argued this violated his Fifth Amendment rights: He had remained silent, and the Supreme Court had previously made clear that prosecutors can’t bring up a defendant’s refusal to answer the state’s questions. This time around, however, Justice Samuel Alito blithely responded that Salinas was “free to leave” and did not assert his right to remain silent. He was silent. But somehow, without a lawyer, and without being told his rights, he should have affirmatively “invoked” his right to not answer questions.
Political Figure Scalia and Lap Dog Thomas went further and said Salinas didn’t have any right to silence whatsoever because he hadn’t be arrested or detained by police.
This is all very disturbing. As Ken of Popehat tells us, a prosecutor cannot mention a defendant’s decision to remain silent. If we allowed the authorities to get away with such garbage – and we do now – then the right to remain silent wouldn’t, in fact, be a right. It would simply become this thing people try to do in order to protect themselves, but without any success. “I don’t know, fellow jurors, the police said the guy got shifty and uncomfortable when they questioned him. Then he clammed up! Sounds guilty to me.”
(Know why that last part isn’t a good analogy? Because it just fucking happened.)
I had more to say on this matter, but my time is currently limited. I leave you with this excellent piece of advice:
Filed under: Legal, News, Rights | Tagged: Don't talk to the cops, Fifth Amendment, The Right to Remain Silent | 1 Comment »