Category Archives: Laws

FISA Court: Updates to the Public Docket and More

The US Government  responded yesterday to the FISC’s order to conduct a declassification review in the Yahoo case. Their response asks for 45 and 60 days to complete the full review. They cite the need for interagency coordination, the volume and type of materials, and multiple FOIA requests in support of this request. In the Microsoft and Google cases, the

Pending Cases on the FISA Public Court Docket

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court has created a public docket for declassified opinions. The documents have been released through the efforts of providers like Yahoo, Microsoft, and Google, as well as advocacy groups like the ACLU and the EFF, who filed requests to publish the opinions and filings in the FISC. Since FISA was enacted, the FISC and FISA Court

Why Are There Only Six Jurors in George Zimmerman’s Murder Trial?

The media has been closely following the criminal trial of George Zimmerman, the racially charged trial in which Zimmerman is accused of murdering teenager Trayvon Martin. Just this week, a jury of six was chosen. For most people, when we think of juries, we think of them as being comprised of twelve people. Indeed, for over 600 years, juries in

Justia Writers’ Round Up – Supreme Court Opinions Issued June 20, 2013

American Express Co. v. Italian Colors Restaurant, United States Supreme Court (6/20/13) Antitrust & Trade Regulation, Arbitration & Mediation, Class Action An agreement between American Express and merchants who accept American Express cards, requires that all of their disputes be resolved by arbitration and provides that there “shall be no right or authority for any Claims to be arbitrated on

Justia Writers’ Round Up – Supreme Court Opinions Issued June 17, 2013

Five opinions came down today from the United States Supreme Court. Read the summaries below and read the full text of the opinions at Justia’s U.S. Supreme Court Center. Alleyne v. United States, United States Supreme Court (6/17/13) Civil Rights, Constitutional Law, Criminal Law Alleyne was convicted using or carrying a firearm in relation to a crime of violence, 18

More on Access to FISA Opinions

Back in January, key provisions of FISA – the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act – were renewed by Congress.  I wrote about the troubling situation of access to FISA Opinions, which is basically non-existent. Up until January, only one opinion had been released by the FISA Court, and only two opinions released by the FISA Court of Review. The FISA Rules

The Color of St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day is a day when we celebrate the Irish in all (or at least 35 million) of us. We honor our Irish ancestors, relatives and friends by dressing in green, visiting an Irish pub, or participating in a festive parade. Food manufacturers also observe St. Patrick’s Day through the creative use of food coloring, which is regulated by

California Assembly Bill Seeks to Add CC License to State Regs

California Assemblyman Brian Nestande (R-42nd Dist.) has put forth a bill to apply a Creative Commons License to the California Code of Regulations (CCR). According to Mr. Nestande’s site, “AB 292 will provide that the full text of the California Code of Regulations shall have an open access creative commons attribution license, allowing any individual, at no cost, to use,

Public.Resource.Org Sues for Declaratory Judgement on Standards Incorporated by Reference

Last week, Public.Resource.Org, through their counsel at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, filed an action for declaratory judgement against the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association, Inc. [SMACNA]. In its complaint, Public.Resource.org asserts that since SMACNA’s copyrighted standards were explicitly incorporated into federal and state law, they have become part of the public domain and are no longer subject

Crowdsourcing Bills and Law Revisions

Two legislative crowdsourcing efforts came across my desk today: OpenPACER and Fork the Law. I love the idea of collective effort to make laws. The government has tried this to some extent with Regulations.gov. There, you can sort, view, and comment on proposed regulations. An even better iteration of this is GovPulse, a site that was created in the private