Posts Tagged ‘Supreme Court’

John Pilger
February 2, 2012

This week’s Supreme Court hearing in the Julian Assange case has profound meaning for the preservation of basic freedoms in western democracies. This is Assange’s final appeal against his extradition to Sweden to face allegations of sexual misconduct that were originally dismissed by the chief prosecutor in Stockholm and constitute no crime in Britain.

The consequences, if he loses, lie not in Sweden but in the shadows cast by America’s descent into totalitarianism. In Sweden, he is at risk of being “temporarily surrendered” to the US where his life has been threatened and he is accused of “aiding the enemy” with Bradley Manning, the young soldier accused of leaking evidence of US war crimes to WikiLeaks.

The connections between Manning and Assange have been concocted by a secret grand jury in Alexandria, Virginia, which allowed no defence counsel or witnesses, and by a system of plea-bargaining that ensures a 90 per cent conviction. It is reminiscent of a Soviet show trial.

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Today’s Supreme Court rejection against The Pirate Bay signals the start of a new campaign targeting 150 file-sharing sites, say anti-piracy figures. A lawyer for the Hollywood movie studios says she expects Swedish sites and those providing them with infrastructure will stop their activities today. Antipiratbyran say they will take legal action against those that don’t.

This morning, Sweden’s Supreme Court announced that it would not be granting leave to appeal in the Pirate Bay case. This means that the prison sentences and millions of dollars in fines previously handed out to the four defendants will stand.

Unsurprisingly, the entertainment and anti-piracy companies behind the long-running case are celebrating and planning for the future.

“The rule of law has spoken and this is a defining moment in the lengthy discussion of copyright on the Internet,” says Henrik Pontén, lawyer at Antipiratbyrån.

“The Supreme Court has made clear to all involved in copyright violations, including those that provide them with Internet connections, must now assume their responsibilities.”

Local Hollywood lawyer Monique Wadsted said that the final verdict against the defendants in the Pirate Bay case sends a clear signal – those who operate illegal file-sharing services or provide them with Swedish Internet access face prison and substantial damages.

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Madison Ruppert, Contributing Writer
Activist Post

In a classic show of political hypocrisy, Indiana State Representative Jud McMillin pulled his bill which would have created a pilot program for the drug testing of applicants for welfare after it was successfully amended to require drug testing for lawmakers as well.

“There was an amendment offered today that required drug testing for legislators as well and it passed, which led me to have to then withdraw the bill,” MicMillin, a Republican from Brookville, and sponsor of the original legislation, said.

McMillin seems to be taking the stance that this legislation with the amendment intact would not survive a constitutional challenge. This is based on a ruling handed down by the Supreme Court in 1997 which prevented drug testing political candidates. They ruled in Chandler v. Miller that drug testing for political candidates was unconstitutional and thus struck down a Georgia law.

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Placement of the GPS tracking device on the Jeep violates the Fourth Amendment’s protection against ‘unreasonable search and seizure’

AP/Washington Post
January 23, 2012

The Supreme Court ruled unanimously Monday that police must get a search warrant before using GPS technology to track criminal suspects.

The GPS device helped authorities link Washington, D.C., nightclub owner Antoine Jones to a suburban house used to stash money and drugs. He was sentenced to life in prison before the appeals court overturned the conviction.

Associate Justice Antonin Scalia said that the government’s installation of a GPS device, and its use to monitor the vehicle’s movements, constitutes a search, meaning that a warrant is required.

“By attaching the device to the Jeep” that Jones was using, “officers encroached on a protected area,” Scalia wrote.

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