Fourth Amendment

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Menendez Claims He Was Subject to Illegal Searches
Menendez: FBI
Searches Were Illegal

Menendez: FBI Searches Were Illegal

Government 'actively distorted the evidence,' embattled senator claims in new filing

(Newser) - Sen. Bob Menendez, accused of accepting cash, gold bars, and a luxury car in exchange for political favors , now accuses the government of unreasonable searches and seizures and demands that evidence in the case be thrown out. In a new filing, the New Jersey Democrat claims the government "actively...

Facial Recognition Fails: Pregnant Woman Wrongly Arrested

Porcha Woodruff sues city of Detroit, says facial-recognition technology led to that false arrest

(Newser) - When a very pregnant Porcha Woodruff was approached by cops earlier this year and told she was being arrested, the 32-year-old aesthetician and nursing school student from Detroit initially thought they were kidding. It was no joke, however, and now she's suing the city, alleging a false arrest based...

Court Rules Against Airport Searches of Phones, Laptops

Warrantless searches violate Fourth Amendment, federal court says

(Newser) - A federal court in Boston has ruled that warrantless government searches of the phones and laptops of international travelers at airports and other US ports of entry violate the Fourth Amendment. Tuesday's ruling in US District Court came in a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and...

American With a Cellphone? This Ruling Affects You

Supreme Court says warrants generally needed to track location data

(Newser) - It's being described as a landmark decision in favor of privacy: The Supreme Court ruled Friday that the government in most cases needs a warrant to track a person's location by grabbing data from cellphone towers. Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the four liberal-leaning justices and wrote...

Government Sued Over Border Searches of Electronic Devices

ACLU argues devices nowadays contain tons of personal, private information

(Newser) - A federal lawsuit filed Wednesday claims the US government's growing practice of searching laptops and cellphones at the border is unconstitutional because electronic devices now carry troves of private personal and business information, the AP reports. But the government has vociferously defended its searches as critical to protecting the...

Cops Called Out for Forcing Catheters on Suspects

'There’s a lot of screaming and hollering'

(Newser) - Police in South Dakota are forcing catheters onto some uncooperative suspects—“They don’t anesthetize them,” one lawyer says. “There’s a lot of screaming and hollering”—and critics say the practice could be unconstitutional, the Sioux Falls Argus Leader reports. While forced catheterization has been...

Lawsuit: New Orleans Runs Modern 'Debtors' Prison'

System targeting poor is 'illegal, unconstitutional, and unjust': complaint

(Newser) - Six plaintiffs filed a federal class-action lawsuit yesterday against Louisiana's Orleans Parish for instituting what amounts to an "illegal, unconstitutional, and unjust modern debtors' prison" for people who fail to pay court fines over what are often minor offenses, the New Orleans Advocate reports. The complaint alleges individuals...

Cops Quietly Using Secret Spy Tool to Find Suspects

Critics say cell-tower simulators violate civil liberties, 4th Amendment

(Newser) - A device police can use to pinpoint a suspect's location with what some say is 100% reliability may just sound like the latest cool tool in a cop's catch-a-criminal arsenal. But the surveillance instrument used by the Tallahassee PD since 2007 is worrying the ACLU, judges, and citizens...

Police Have Been Using Radar to Peek Into Homes

Legal and privacy concerns emerge as law enforcement uses detection technology

(Newser) - The gist of the Fourth Amendment, according to the Supreme Court , is "the right of a man to retreat into his own home and there be free from unreasonable governmental intrusion." Which is why legal and privacy concerns are cropping up regarding the recent revelation that at least...

US Uses Border Searches to Seize Devices: Manning Ally

Technique allows warrantless search of electronics

(Newser) - If you cross in to or out of the US, the government might seize your electronic devices—whether it's got a warrant or not. David House, a fundraiser for Chelsea Manning's legal defense fund, found that out the hard way in November 2010, after a trip to Mexico....

Judge Rules 'Stop and Frisk' Unconstitutional

She appoints independent monitor to watch NYPD

(Newser) - The NYPD's controversial stop-and-frisk policy violates New Yorkers' Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure, a federal judge declared today. Judge Shira A. Sheindlin said she would appoint an independent lawyer to monitor the NYPD and ensure it didn't continue the policy, or otherwise behave unconstitutionally. The...

Court: Feds Can Track Your Location Without a Warrant

But in another case, government says it must admit NSA spying to defendants

(Newser) - The federal government can grab GPS data indicating where you've been directly from your phone carrier without a warrant, the US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled yesterday, saying that the practice was "not per se unconstitutional." Technically, that data is a "business record," meaning...

Supreme Court Upholds DNA Swabs of Those Under Arrest

Not a violation of 4th Amendment

(Newser) - DNA swabbing the cheek of a person arrested—but not yet convicted—for a "serious offense" is just as acceptable as fingerprinting and photographing that person, the Supreme Court ruled today. Such DNA swabs do not violate a person's Fourth Amendment protection from unreasonable searches, the justices found....

IRS Might Be Peeking at Emails Without Warrants

ACLU calls for a clear explanation of policy

(Newser) - It's probably not wise to talk about all your deep, dark tax-dodging secrets via email, but if you do, know that the IRS might be poking into them without a warrant. So says the ACLU, which complains that it can't get a straight answer from the agency about...

DC Can Be Bipartisan —to Trash 4th Amendment
DC Can Be Bipartisan
—to Trash 4th Amendment

DC Can Be Bipartisan —to Trash 4th Amendment

Congress will let the feds keep spying on Americans: Alex Pareene

(Newser) - Democrats and Republicans cannot agree on a budget, how to avoid the fiscal cliff, gun control, or much of anything, but there's apparently one thing they can agree on—trashing the Fourth Amendment. Yes, despite Washington's all-consuming dysfunction, the parties have come together to renew the FISA Amendment...

Supreme Court Needs to Rein In Dog Searches

We need better restrictions on how far police can go: Jeffrey Meyer

(Newser) - It may not be the most high-profile issue on this year's Supreme Court docket, but two cases coming up later this month have the potential to affect our privacy in profound ways, writes Jeffrey A. Meyer in the New York Times . Both involve police dogs, and how far authorities...

Law Prof: Jay-Z's Lyrical Legal Advice Is Wrong

Don't let '99 Problems' be your guide

(Newser) - Jay-Z's smash hit "99 Problems" may be fun to listen to, but don't get your legal advice from it. The rapper's perspective on the law is way off in parts, says a professor who authored a law review article analyzing the lyrics line by line. "...

Supreme Court Bans Warrantless GPS Tracking

Obama administration had argued that tracking cars didn't constitute a search

(Newser) - The Supreme Court ruled unanimously today that the government must obtain a warrant before secretly affixing a GPS tracking device to a suspect's car. The case stemmed from an incident in which the FBI placed a tracker on a DC drug dealer's car, with the Obama administration arguing...

Judge Orders Florida to Stop Welfare Drug Tests

Says it will likely be ruled unconstitutional

(Newser) - A federal judge has ordered Florida to suspend its “suspicionless drug testing” of would-be welfare recipients, writing that “there is a substantial likelihood” that the law requiring such tests will be deemed unconstitutional. The ruling comes thanks to an ACLU lawsuit on behalf of one welfare recipient—an...

US Wrote Secret Memo to Let It Kill a Citizen

50-page memo said killing only ok if could not capture

(Newser) - The secret memo that allowed the assassination of American citizen Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen last month justified his killing as legal because he could not be captured alive, reports the New York Times . Completed in June 2010, the 50-page memo also was written narrowly, to deny the general targeted killings...

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