May 24, 2013 |
TUCSON - A federal judge has ruled that the immigration enforcement policies of the man who calls himself "America's toughest sheriff" violated the Constitution by using racial profiling. For years, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has ordered his deputies to detain people they suspect of residing in the country illegally and to hold them for federal authorities. The 142-page ruling issued Friday by Judge G. Murray Snow came as part of a lawsuit brought on behalf of Latino plaintiffs who asserted that race was a major factor in initiating immigration enforcement stops.
May 8, 2013 |
Cheerleaders in a small Texas town can continue to display their Bible verse banners at football games, after a district judge ruled Wednesday that their actions did not violate the Constitution. The cheerleaders in the football-dominated town of Kountze garnered national attention when they sued the school district in a case that pitted free-speech rights and religious freedom against the doctrine of separation of church and state. Hardin County 365th Judicial District Court Judge Stephen Thomas said the banners that included religious messages - such as "If God is for us, who can be against us?
May 7, 2013 |
NEW YORK - If someone told you of a barnstorming TV host who interviewed people around the country about a given subject, you'd say it sounds like a lot of the road-trip reality series that have proliferated on cable TV. But what if that host had NPR credentials? And what if the show's theme wasn't burger stands or pawn brokers but the most important document in the history of self-governance? Then it might sound a little more like "Constitution USA," a four-part nonfiction series that debuts Tuesday on PBS (KOCE locally)
May 3, 2013 |
Last week, Texas and Oklahoma squared off in a Supreme Court battle over water rights that has the drought-ridden West on edge. At issue is a state's control over its own water: Texas seeks to buy or otherwise tap water from Oklahoma under the terms of an interstate water compact, actions that Oklahoma has so far refused to permit despite the compact. The stakes of the court's decision are high. Interstate water agreements provide the legal foundation for the economies of most Western states, which are disproportionately dependent on irrigated agriculture.
April 27, 2013
Some politicians wanted Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev declared an enemy combatant; many warned against reading him his Miranda rights. Discussing these calls in his Op-Ed article Tuesday, UC Irvine School of Law Dean Erwin Chemerinsky offered a spirited defense of protections for criminal defendants. "The Constitution is not like a deck chair, to be brought out in good weather and then put away and ignored when the seas get rough," he wrote. "Tsarnaev is entitled to the same constitutional protections as any other criminal defendant.
April 27, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The federal rules say a person making an arrest "must take the defendant before a magistrate without unnecessary delay. " And the Supreme Court has said the judicial process must begin within 48 hours. This rule aims to "prevent secret detention," wrote former Justice David H. Souter, adding that "no one with any smattering of the history of 20th-Century dictatorships needs a lecture on the subject. " Despite criticism from Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill that the questioning of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was prematurely curtailed, legal experts say the only way to have avoided triggering that process once he was arrested a week ago would have been to declare him an enemy combatant.