The U.S. Legal System and All Things Related Blog

With Enough People, Power, and Persistence, the System Will Improve



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Nationwide Protests and Demand for Institutional Reforms


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As many people are aware, there have been protests around the country as well as around the world after the brutal and senseless murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis on Monday, May 25th, 2020.  As the saying goes, this was the straw that broke the camel’s back—after the million other straws underneath it.  The tumult and passion of the past several weeks have forced people to face the uncomfortable realities of our justice system.  These protests are like nothing the United States and the world have ever seen.  The last time anything close to what is currently transpiring happened in the United States was during the civil rights movement of the 1960s.

Is the COVID-19 Lockdown a Violation of Our Constitutional Rights?


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Benjamin Franklin once said, "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”  But what would Franklin have given up to secure a lot of permanent safety—stopping a sometimes lethal microbe that has already killed thousands of Americans?  Like so much else in our world during these trying times, his maxim now faces a harsh test from COVID-19.

Orange County Corruption Exposed


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Two audits conducted by the Orange County sheriff’s department uncovered a pattern of filing false reports that could call into question thousands of convictions.  Deputies booked evidence days, and sometimes weeks, after it was purportedly collected according to an internal audit, which examined thousands of police reports filed between 2016 and 2018.  Thirty percent of evidence was “booked out of policy,” according to a presentation describing the first audit’s findings.  A second audit found that deputies had claimed to have collected evidence that was never booked.

New Laws in 2020


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With the ushering in of a new year comes new laws.  Lucky us!  A wave of new legislation will bring in changes, both big and small.  There is “good news” for workers, consumer privacy advocates, sexual abuse victims, and many more.

Pre-crime Laws and the Surveillance State


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We’ve been down this road many times before.

If the government is consistent about anything, it is this: it has a tendency to exploit crises and use them as opportunities for power grabs under the guise of “national security.”  Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness have given way to permanent crisis management: to policing the planet and fighting preventative wars of ideological containment, usually on terrain favorable to our enemies.  Limited government and constitutional accountability have been thrown aside by the kind of imperial presidency our constitutional system was explicitly designed to prevent.

Recklessly Driving Cop Got 41 Speeding and Red Light Tickets


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The car that got slapped with 63 tickets, including 34 speeding tickets and seven red light tickets, is parked in the foreground of the general mess at the 23rd station house in East Harlem.  Photo: Julianne Cuba

The fight to save our streets from recklessly driving cops now has a poster child.  Streetsblog’s ongoing investigation into police officers who repeatedly speed and run red lights unearthed a true sociopath in blue on Tuesday: An Upper East Side cop with 63 summonses—including 34 camera-issued speeding tickets and seven tickets issued for being caught on camera running a red light—since 2014.

New Laws in 2019


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As is usual every year, 2019 will see the enactment of new laws across the country.  Once again, our beloved legislators have passed thousands of needless new laws that will be going into effect this year.  Passing more laws is not the solution, but instead, part of the problem!  We already have millions of laws in the nation—far too many.  Having ample laws is one of several causes of corruption in our legal system.  Many of the newly written laws will have an impact on the vast majority of Americans.  In California alone, more than 1,000 new laws will be added to the books.  In some states, minimum wages will go up, guns will be harder to obtain legally, plastic straws will get the boot, and hunters will get to wear pink for a change.  Here are some of the noteworthy laws going into effect this year:

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