September 20, 2012 |
Cleveland Browns President Mike Holmgren, who caused a rift with legendary running back Jim Brown when he dismissed him as a special adviser to the Browns when Holmgren became president in 2010, wants to make things right. Holmgren says plans to meet with the Hall of Fame running back in the next few days, hoping to repair their relationship. Brown has told the team he will take part in alumni activities this weekend surrounding Sunday's game against the Buffalo Bills. Brown was so upset by Holmgren's decision to change his role with the club that he refused to attend the ceremony in which the Browns unveiled a ring of honor inside their stadium, a permanent display instituted by Holmgren.
September 18, 2012 |
In one of the most famous 1st Amendment cases in U.S. history, Schenck vs. United States, Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. established that the right to free speech in the United States is not unlimited. "The most stringent protection," he wrote on behalf of a unanimous court, "would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theater and causing a panic. " Holmes' test - that words are not protected if their nature and circumstances create a "clear and present danger" of harm - has since been tightened.
September 14, 2012
A federal appeals court has ruled that Costa Mesa's ban on "insolent" behavior at City Council meetings is an unconstitutional violation of speakers' 1st Amendment rights. That's a smart decision. The three judge panel voted 2 to 1 to let the rest of the ordinance stand - banning "disorderly" and "disruptive" behavior - as long as the offending word "insolent" was struck from it. (The dissenting judge thought the entire ordinance should be thrown out.) Anyone who has spent any time at a city council meeting - whether as observer or participant - knows how boisterous, noisy and emotional the audience and the speakers can be. It was one such speaker, Benito Acosta, a passionate advocate for immigration rights whose refusal to leave the podium at a Costa Mesa City Council meeting in 2006 got him physically removed and handcuffed, who brought the suit challenging the city ordinance as an infringement on free speech.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 5, 2012 |
Los Angeles and other cities are barred by the U.S. Constitution from randomly seizing and destroying property homeless people temporarily leave unattended on city streets, a federal appeals court decided Wednesday. Upholding a court order against Los Angeles, a panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled, 2-1, that the personal possessions the homeless leave for a short time on city sidewalks may be taken only if the possessions pose an immediate threat to public safety or health or constitute criminal evidence.
September 2, 2012
In Los Angeles, as elsewhere in this country, fear of enemies in our midst - be they Communists, trade unionists or foreign terrorists - too often has led to violations of the privacy of law-abiding Americans. Given that history, civil libertarians and members of the Muslim community were right to press the Los Angeles Police Department to ensure that a program designed to detect possible terrorist activity doesn't cast suspicion on individuals whose only "offense" is to exercise their right to free speech or belong to a particular ethnic or religious group.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 2, 2012 |
A freelance photographer who allegedly chased singer Justin Bieber on the 101 Freeway this summer and became the first person arrested and charged under the state's new anti-paparazzi law is now waging a constitutional challenge to the law. Paul Raef, 30, faces four misdemeanor charges in connection with the July 6 incident: reckless driving, failing to obey a peace officer and two counts of following another vehicle too closely and reckless driving...
August 25, 2012
Responding to The Times' Aug. 16 editorial " Affirming affirmative action ," reader E.G. Rice wrote: "The 14th Amendment requires each state to provide equal protection under the law to all citizens. The 1964 Civil Rights Act outlawed most forms of discrimination. Affirmative action subjects applicants to different standards based on their race or gender, which makes it unconstitutional. "In the 2003 ruling that upheld affirmative action, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor suggested that the policy should end within 25 years.
August 20, 2012
Even many who cherish the "original meaning" of the Constitution recognize that provisions drafted in the 18th century must be interpreted in light of changing technology. That is especially true of the 4th Amendment's guarantee of the "right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures. " When the amendment was adopted, unreasonable searches involved physical trespass. But in 1967 the court ruled that the 4th Amendment was violated when federal agents affixed a wiretap to the outside of a telephone booth being used by a gambler.
August 17, 2012
For years, New Jersey barred U.S.-born college students from receiving state financial aid if their parents were in this country illegally. Last week, a state court of appeals put an end to that misguided policy, finding that education officials had wrongly denied aid to an 18-year-old student born and raised in the United States because her Guatemalan mother is an undocumented immigrant. Though it is binding only in New Jersey, the ruling should serve as a warning to other states - such as Florida, where U.S.-born residents are required to pay out-of-state college tuition simply because their parents are undocumented.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 18, 2012 |
A Los Angeles ordinance that requires hotel owners to keep guest registries and permit police to inspect them without a search warrant does not violate the constitutional rights of the owners, a divided federal appeals court ruled Tuesday. A panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2 to 1 against a motel owner whose guest registries had been searched by Los Angeles police without consent. Judge Richard R. Clifton, writing for the majority, said hotel guests have no legal right to expect registries will be kept private, and the owners failed to prove the searches violated their 4th Amendment protections from unreasonable searches.