October 31, 2012 |
Civil libertarians are upbeat after an argument in the Supreme Court this week over whether lawyers, activists and academics can challenge the constitutionality of a law authorizing the wiretapping of potential terrorists abroad -- who may be conversing or swapping emails with Americans. The plaintiffs, who carry on confidential conversations with foreign clients and sources, say the law chills them in the exercise of their rights. As is often the case, the civil liberties groups are pinning their hopes on Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, who has voted with liberals on the court in previous cases arising from the war on terrorism. Kennedy seemed receptive to the plaintiffs' argument that they have standing to sue because they fear that their confidential conversations with sources and clients are being monitored. “I think the lawyer would engage in malpractice if he talked on the telephone with some of these clients, given this statute,” Kennedy told Solicitor General Donald Verrilli.
October 30, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - Supreme Court justices were surprisingly skeptical Monday about arguments by a top Justice Department lawyer who in a hearing sought to squelch an anti-wiretapping lawsuit brought by lawyers, journalists and activists. At issue in the surveillance case is the government's power to secretly monitor international phone calls and email under a stepped-up monitoring policy approved by Congress four years ago. It allows U.S. spy agencies to target people or places overseas and to intercept all the phone calls and email to and from these people or places.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 14, 2012 |
A federal judge on Monday shot down Hollywood private eye Anthony Pellicano's bid to be released on bail during an appeal of his 2008 convictions for racketeering and wiretapping. Judge Dale Fischer, who presided over the private investigator's six-week trial, said she was not convinced the 68-year-old was no longer a threat to society, despite his attorney's pleas that Pellicano suffered from a serious eye condition and had neither the resources nor the motivation to engage in the intimidation and sleuthing that landed him in federal prison.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 22, 2012 |
The negotiations went down during weeks of profane and elliptical conversation, an FBI informant asking for a hard figure: How much cash would it take to bribe Cudahy officials into letting him open his marijuana dispensary? Two council members and a longtime city official were arrested by federal agents Friday morning and charged with bribery. But documents released as part of the criminal complaint suggest that the malfeasance is far more widespread. More than 130 pages of wiretapped conversations depict a city rife with corruption, as well as bribery so pervasive that it's practically expected.
May 21, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court agreed Monday to consider blocking a constitutional challenge to the government's secret wiretapping of international phone calls and emails. At issue is whether Americans who have regular dealings with overseas clients and co-workers can sue to challenge the sweep of this surveillance if they have a “reasonable fear” their calls will be monitored. The case, to be heard in the fall, will put a spotlight on a secret surveillance program that won congressional approval in the last year of President George W. Bush's presidency.
May 19, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court, after a four-year break from terrorism issues, is set to decide as soon as Monday whether to again take up constitutional challenges to George W. Bush-era anti-terrorism laws involving wiretapping and the Guantanamo prisoners. In one case, the Obama administration is asking the court to block a suit against the government's monitoring of international phone calls and emails. And in the other set of appeals, lawyers for six detainees at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, are asking the justices to make good on their promise of four years ago and give the inmates a "meaningful opportunity" to be released.