Monthly Archives: June 2014

Law in the News: Supreme Court voids abortion clinic protest-free zone

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court unanimously struck down the 35-foot protest-free zone outside abortion clinics in Massachusetts Thursday, declaring it an unconstitutional restraint on the free-speech rights of protesters.

Authorities have less intrusive ways to deal with potential confrontations or other problems that can arise outside clinics, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote. Roberts noted that most of the problems reported by police and the clinics in Massachusetts occurred outside a single Planned Parenthood facility in Boston, and only on Saturdays when the largest crowds typically gather.

“For a problem shown to arise only once a week in one city at one clinic, creating 35-foot buffer zones at every clinic across the Commonwealth is hardly a narrowly tailored solution,” Roberts said. He wrote the majority opinion after asking no questions — exceedingly rare for him — at the argument in January.

Read article on SF Chronicle

 

Law in the News: Supreme Court Says Phones Can’t Be Searched Without a Warrant

WASHINGTON — In a major statement on privacy rights in the digital age, the Supreme Court on Wednesday unanimously ruled that the police need warrants to search the cellphones of people they arrest. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., writing for the court, said the vast amount of data contained on modern cellphones must be protected from routine inspection.
Read article on the NY Times.

Law in the News: Obama to Congress: I don’t need new permission on Iraq

Washington (CNN) — I’ll let you know what’s going on, but I don’t need new congressional authority to act, President Barack Obama told congressional leaders Wednesday about his upcoming decision on possible military intervention in Iraq.

The White House meeting sounded more like a listening session for the top Republicans and Democrats in the House and Senate about options for helping Iraq’s embattled Shiite government halt the lightning advance of Sunni Islamist fighters toward Baghdad that Obama is considering.

According to a White House statement, Obama went over U.S. efforts to “strengthen the capacity of Iraq’s security forces to confront the threat” from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) fighters, “including options for increased security assistance.”

Earlier, spokesman Jay Carney spelled out one limit to any U.S. help, saying: “The President hasn’t ruled out anything except sending U.S. combat troops into Iraq.”
Read article on CNN.

Why didn’t anyone vote in California on Tuesday?

Even low turnout in California means lots of voters due to the state’s sheer size. But California has historically overperformed in primary races. We anticipated over 5 million voters when we wrote about the primary on Monday, based on historic trends. Instead, only about 3.2 million people voted according to preliminary counts, plunging turnout to 18.3 percent of the state’s registered voters.
Read article on Washington Post.