Blows against Tyranny

In an 8-1 decision, the Supreme Court says you have a right to an attorney from the time you are brought before a judge–they can’t put it off for six months, as was done to a Texas man. And a federal appeals court said the president can’t detain indefinitely as an “enemy combatant” someone who…

When Reason Gives Way to Voodoo

In Canada, feelings about being hurt by words fuel the supralegal Human Rights Commissions. So should it surprise us that an Ontario school reported a family for sexual abuse of their daughter because of a psychic’s warning?

“The Slow Strangulation of Fundamental … Freedoms”

Those were the words of British MP David Davis, resigning his seat in protest of Gordon Brown’s latest terrorism measures, which would include holding people without charge for six weeks. Oh, Davis isn’t gone for good. His resignation prompts an election, and he will run again, using the campaign as a platform to protest against…

McCain and the Constitution

John McCain has attacked the Supreme Court’s decision on the rights of Guantanamo detainees as “one of the worst decisions in the history of this country.” His reaction gives me further reason not to support him. We’re in a war that was begun on a false basis. It has been propagated by means contrary to…

Supreme Court Upholds Freedom

In a serious blow to King George, the Supreme Court has ruled that Guantanamo detainees do have rights under US law. Justice Kennedy: “The laws and Constitution are designed to survive, and remain in force, in extraordinary times.” Justice Scalia threw idealism out the window in favor of pragmatism, saying this will make it harder…

American Freedoms We Take for Granted

A British guy fell off his couch laughing at his favorite TV show. A neighbor heard the thud, and called police. Police got aggressive when they came to the door, demanded his ID, and then pepper-sprayed him, barged in, and hauled him off to jail.

Canada: Free Speech and Religious Liberty Denied

An Alberta pastor has been fined $7000 by the Human Rights Star Chamber and ordered to apologize and to say nothing in the future about homosexuality. This is a chilling denial of both freedom of speech and religious liberty. The Calgary Herald opines that it is time the premier stepped in and stopped these farces.…

Big Brother in DC

DC police will set up a roadblock outside the Trinidad neighborhood, checking IDs and asking if people have a legitimate reason to be there. Expect lawsuits. Leaders of the American Civil Liberties Union said yesterday that they will be watching what happens closely and that legal action is likely. “My reaction is, welcome to Baghdad,…

Police and Reality

Police can zap you with a taser for absolutely no reason, and nothing will happen to the officer. But cops are throwing the book at a teen who happened to open up a disposable camera to show his friends you can get a little bit of an electric tickle if you touch the inner workings…

Stifling Speech at University of Maryland

Don’t these universities talk to one another? University of Maryland is trying to do what other schools have tried to do–and failed: establish “free speech zones” in out of the way places for student speech they would rather ignore. ADF is suing on behalf of a pro-life group.

Vigilante Spying

Julia Duin of the Washington Times reports on a freelance spying group that has been trying to infiltrate mosques. I’m more worried about the actions of these vigilantes than I am about the folks they are spying on.

Loyalty Oaths in Education

Did you know California teachers are required to sign a loyalty oath to the state and the US? And a Quaker math teacher was fired for adding a “nonviolent” clause in her own handwriting to it? Modifying the oath “is very clearly not permissible,” the university’s attorney, Eunice Chan, said, citing various laws. “It’s an…

Happy Independence Day!

It’s Independence Day! Bring out your red white and blue, your 10 gallon hat, your spurs and some Bluebell ice cream! It’s Independence Day–March 2, the commemoration of the day in 1836 when some brave patriots gathered in an incomplete “Independence Hall” in the city of Washington-on-the Brazos to declare that Texas was an independent…

“First They Came for the Homeschoolers”

From Rod Dreher: Homeschooling German families are fleeing their fatherland because a Nazi-era law still on the books gives the state ownership of children whose parents wish to educate them at home. Link to article in the Guardian: Home-schooling has been illegal in Germany since it was outlawed in 1938. Hitler wanted the Nazi state…

Freedom of the Press

Can we have freedom of the press if reporters find themselves subject to the full weight of governmental pressure to get them to disclose confidential sources? Case in point. Aren’t such measures intended to inspire fear in the hearts of journalists, to get them to back off stories of importance? Isn’t it a form of…

Life in Saudi Arabia

Yara, an American businesswoman who lives and works in Saudi Arabia (her husband’s home) was arrested and humiliated by Saudi religious police for daring to sit in a Starbucks with her co-workers when the lights went out in their office. Remember that the Saudis are our friends and allies–which is why our embassy is refusing…

Punishing Those in Need

Hillary Clinton once again endorses the idea that individuals should be punished if they don’t have health care, suggesting that if you can’t or won’t purchase it, your wages should be garnished.

Can You Photograph Cops in Action?

Houston case asks whether you have the liberty to photograph police in action. Discovery in this case revealed the romantic e-mails between DA Chuck Rosenthal and his secretary, that led to him deciding not to seek re-election. Men in this case were photographing and filming a raid on a neighbor, at her request; sheriff’s deputies…

Happy New Year from the Record Companies

In previous decades we laughed and rolled our eyes at the increasingly ludicrous claims made by tobacco company lawyers in defense of their product. Now the lawyers for record companies are assuming the position of most ridiculous–except where the tobacco lawyers sought to preserve and protect customer choice, the record companies are going after their…

Crimes, Misdemeanors, and Judicial Misconduct

Mark Colville got a stiffer punishment for simulating Blackwater USA’s slaughter of innocent Iraqi civilians than the mercenaries who actually committed the crime. Details at New Haven Advocate and National Catholic Reporter. Colville and Co. were tried last week before a kangaroo court in Currituck County, N.C., where the judge ordered the public, the press…

A Crack in the Liberty Bell

Philadelphia is “the cradle of liberty”–but Philadelphia freedom no longer extends to the Boy Scouts. Pro-homosexual sentiment is more important to the city today than the freedom of the Boy Scouts to define who they are and what their mission is. New York Times reports on the efforts of the city of Philadelphia to evict…

Saudi Arabia

Rape victim gets 200 lashes and six months in jail–for “her attempt to aggravate and influence the judiciary through the media.” In other words, she and her lawyer complained about the light sentences given to the attackers and the 90 lashes she was to get.

The FBI and Torture

Steve Bergstein tells the horrific story of the ordeal suffered by Abdallah Higazy, who was coerced into a false “confession” after 9-11 by an FBI agent who threatened that he would have Egyptian security forces torture his family. The long and the short of it was that an Egpytian national, Abdallah Higazy, was staying in…

Is the President under the Law?

Yale Law School professor Jed Rubenfeld comments on the confirmation testimony of Michael Mukasey. According to Judge Mukasey’s statement, as well as other parts of his testimony, the president’s authority “to defend the nation” trumps his obligation to obey the law. Take the federal statute governing military commissions in Guantánamo Bay. No one, including the…