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Florida Imam With Past FBI Links Accused of Terrorism. On August 23, 2011, 46-year-old Marcus Dwayne Robertson, the imam of an Orlando, Florida mosque, was arrested, imprisoned and charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He pleaded guilty. Almost four years after his initial arrest, Robertson, also known as “Abu Taubah,” is still behind bars awaiting sentencing for that crime, as well as for a separate count of conspiracy to file a fraudulent tax refund claim.

He could be released on time served based on those charges, but the U.S. government is now seeking a “terrorism enhancement” that could result in him serving an additional 20 years in prison. Part of what makes the case unusual is that Robertson has never actually been charged with planning or committing any terrorist acts. Instead, prosecutors are trying to use his possession of Islamic literature as proof of his terrorist intent.

Robertson, for his part, alleges that he has been a target of entrapment and malicious prosecution. The U.S. Environmental Activist Who FBI Entrapped & Charged with ‘Eco-Terrorism’ is Released Over Withheld Evidence. A 37-year-old environmental activist, who was convicted of “eco-terrorism” in 2007 and sentenced to 19 years in prison in 2008, has been released from jail after he uncovered evidence that the federal government withheld documents that would have been useful to his defense at trial. The release was a result of Eric McDavid pleading guilty to a lesser charge of “general conspiracy” to destroy “by fire or explosives one or more targets in the Sacramento area,” including the Nimbus Dam, US Forest Service Institute of Forest Genetics and local cellular telephone towers.

Defense attorneys and the Justice Department came to a settlement and agreed to release him because he had served 9 years jail (four more years than the maximum sentence for a “general conspiracy” charge. United States District Court Judge Morrison C. England granted the request for McDavid’s release on January 8. The FBI had her disguise herself as a “street medic,” despite the fact that she had no medical experience at all. Microsoft Ireland Case: Can a US Warrant Compel A US Provider to Disclose Data Stored Abroad? The animating question in this case is whether a U.S. law enforcement agency can compel a U.S. provider of communications service to disclose the content of digital information the provider stores outside the U.S. The Stored Communications Act (SCA), part of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) of 1986, does not explicitly address the issue.

The SCA authorizes the Government to seek the contents of stored communications that are more than 180 days old, using a subpoena, a court order issued under 18 USC 2703(d), or a warrant. The Government takes the position that a subpoena can also compel disclosure of opened email no matter its age. However, Microsoft and most other large providers apply U.S. v. Warshak, 631 F.3d 266 (6th Cir. 2010) on a nationwide basis, and require warrants for all content. The parties have briefed the case, and Microsoft enjoys amicus support from AT&T, Verizon, Cisco/Apple and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. I. A. B. C. D. E. II. A. B. C. III. U.S. District Court Rules Iran Behind 9/11 Attacks.

U.S. District Court Rules Iran Behind 9/11 Attacks PR Newswire NEW YORK, December 23, 2011 NEW YORK, December 23, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- A federal district court in Manhattan yesterday entered a historic ruling that reveals new facts about Iran's support of al Qaeda in the 9/11 attacks. U.S. District Judge George B. Daniels ruled yesterday that Iran and Hezbollah materially and directly supported al Qaeda in the September 11, 2001 attacks and are legally responsible for damages to hundreds of family members of 9/11 victims who are plaintiffs in the case. Judge Daniels had announced his ruling in Havlish, et al. v. bin Laden, et al. , in open court on Thursday, December 15, 2011, following a three-hour courtroom presentation by the families' attorneys. Legal Intercept Laws. US Targeted Killing.

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11th Circuit – (Re Constitutionality of Obamacare) I wanted to actually read the opinion before I posted (radical, I know). We have 3 votes that the Medicaid expansion is constitutional and that the individual mandate is fully severable. The court splits 2-1 on whether the individual mandate violates the Commerce Clause, with the majority answering in the affirmative. The winning argument was broccoli, not inactivity. No one should report this decision as “ObamaCare is unconstitutional.”

The most you can say is “two judges decided the individual mandate is unconstitutional under the Commerce Clause, but would have been constitutional if it had been more explicitly designed as a tax. 1. I’ve argued before that the States don’t have standing to bring a challenge to the individual mandate. After more than 40 pages summarizing the PPACA, the court reaches 3 substantive constitutional issues: the Medicaid expansion under the 10th Amendment; the individual mandate under the Commerce Clause; and the individual mandate under the Tax Power. 2.

Would Proposed Federal Shield Law Have Protected New York Times Reporter James Risen? New York Times reporter James Risen at “Obama’s War on Leaks” panel at the National Press Club in May 2012 A proposed federal shield law that would grant journalists covered by the legislation a level of protection has passed in the Senate Judiciary Committee and moved to the full Senate. The shield law would likely protect reporters from subpoenas intended to force them to give up confidential information about their sources, but the protection national security journalists would be able to enjoy is debatable. Aside from the fact that the law would define “covered journalists” who are “real reporters” and deliberately exclude leaks-based media organizations like WikiLeaks, a critical question is whether the proposed shield law would have protected someone like New York Times reporter James Risen. The Justice Department has been trying to force Risen to testify in the case of former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling.

What would this mean for Risen? Senators like Sen. Patrick Leahy and Sen. Judge says Ohio bomb plot amounted to terrorism, making 3 men subject to harsher sentences. CLEVELAND – Three men who pleaded guilty in a plot to bomb a highway bridge should be sentenced as terrorists, making them subject to harsher prison terms, a federal judge ruled Wednesday. U.S. District Court Judge David Dowd's ruling upheld a government request to impose stricter sentences based on a "terrorist enhancement" for the trio.

The ruling that the three were trying to intimidate the government expands their possible sentences from five or six years to 15 to 30 years or more. The judge will sentence Connor Stevens, 20, of Berea; Brandon Baxter, 20, of Lakewood; and Douglas Wright, 26, of Indianapolis, on Tuesday in Akron. The men were among five arrested in an FBI sting operation targeting a highway bridge over the Cuyahoga Valley National Park between Cleveland and Akron. The FBI has said the public was never in danger and the device was a dud provided by an informant. The attorney for Baxter declined to comment on the judge's ruling.

Judge: Americans can be forced to decrypt their laptops | Privacy Inc. American citizens can be ordered to decrypt their PGP-scrambled hard drives for police to peruse for incriminating files, a federal judge in Colorado ruled today in what could become a precedent-setting case. Judge Robert Blackburn ordered a Peyton, Colo., woman to decrypt the hard drive of a Toshiba laptop computer no later than February 21--or face the consequences including contempt of court. Blackburn, a George W. Bush appointee, ruled that the Fifth Amendment posed no barrier to his decryption order. The Fifth Amendment says that nobody may be "compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself," which has become known as the right to avoid self-incrimination. "I find and conclude that the Fifth Amendment is not implicated by requiring production of the unencrypted contents of the Toshiba Satellite M305 laptop computer," Blackburn wrote in a 10-page opinion today.

Dubois said that, in addition, his client may not be able to decrypt the laptop for any number of reasons. After botched child porn raid, judge sees the light on IP addresses. Several recent government raids on computer users suspected of sharing child porn online hit the wrong targets. Instead of getting the perpetrators, some of the raids nabbed a neighbor with an open WiFi network instead. One obvious takeaway: letting total strangers use your Internet connection for any purpose comes with some risk. But there's another lesson: IP addresses simply don't identify the people behind the computers. One federal judge in Illinois has already taken the lesson to heart and applied it to the P2P file-sharing case before him. John Steele, the main lawyer in Illinois who has brought such cases, recently came up before judge Harold Baker and tried his standard tactic: requesting expedited discovery so that he could turn his list of allegedly infringing IP addresses into names.

(Steele has also attempted to lodge the case as a "reverse class action" in which unknown copyright infringers of a pornographic film are named as a "class" to avoid problems of jurisdiction.) Federal Judge Allows Corporation To File Secret Lawsuit. By Nicole Flatow "Federal Judge Allows Corporation To File Secret Lawsuit" In a remarkable blow to freedom of information, a federal trial judge ruled this summer that a company could sue a product safety agency anonymously for posting an improper report about the company, sealed the opinion entirely for several months and then released it in heavily redacted form. According to consumer groups now challenging the decision, this is the first known example of a court both allowing a corporation to sue anonymously, and agreeing to seal a case, all so the company could protect its reputation.

The lawsuit was also the first-ever legal challenge to the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s database, launched in 2011 to provide access to consumer safety complaints before potentially hazardous products are recalled. Weighing the fundamental First Amendment interest in transparency of government decisions against the economic interest of the corporation, U.S. Federal Case Could Make It Easier For Victims To Defend Themselves Against Civil Forfeiture.