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"Supreme Court Vacates Corruption Conviction of Former Virginia Governor"

On June 27, 2016, the United States Supreme Court unanimously vacated the conviction of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell on corruption charges and remanded the case for retrial. As discussed below, the impact of the...more

Even Though the Supremes Vacated Former Governor McDonnell’s Bribery Conviction, Don’t Even Think of Ditching Your Ethics...

The Supreme Court of the United States voted unanimously on June 27, 2016, to vacate former Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell’s conviction under the federal honest services and extortion statutes. In doing so, the eight...more

The Death Of Alexander Hamilton And The Birth Of The American Free Press

Alexander Hamilton has more to do with American independence than you might think. His efforts as a Founding Father (the hottest Founding Father on Broadway, it should be noted) helped the United States achieve political...more

The McDonnell Case: Limitations on public corruption prosecutions and a victory for the social compact of representative...

On Monday June 27, 2016, the US Supreme Court published a unanimous opinion reinforcing what is quickly becoming a contemporary trend in both public corruption and campaign finance regulation cases across the country. By...more

Senate Rejects Amendment That Would Expand The FBI’s Data Collection Powers

On Wednesday, June 22, the U.S. Senate voted down a proposal that would have expanded the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (“FBI”) ability to obtain internet records from technology companies. The measure, a proposed...more

The Supreme Court - June 2016 #7

The Supreme Court of the United States issued decisions in three cases today: McDonnell v. United States, No. 15-474: Former Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell and his wife, Maureen McDonnell, were federally indicted...more

The Supreme Court - June 2016

The Supreme Court of the United States issued decisions in two cases on June 6, 2016: Simmons v. Himmelreich, No. 15-109: Respondent Walter Himmelreich, an inmate at a federal prison, brought two suits against prison...more

Are Changes in Store for the Stored Communications Act?

Last week saw action on two fronts regarding the Stored Communications Act (SCA) – the US federal statute regulating government searches of online accounts in criminal investigations. In Congress, a proposal to reform the SCA...more

The Supreme Court - April 2016

The Supreme Court of the United States issued decisions in two cases on April 4, 2016: - Evenwel v. Abbott, No. 14-940: In this legislative redistricting case, certain voters brought a challenge to the redistricting in...more

SC Public Policy Update - April 2016

What's New - SENATE - The Senate took furlough this week and did not meet in statewide session. The Senate will reconvene Tuesday, April 5th, at noon....more

California Law Enforcement and Industry Gain Procedural Certainty with Historic Cal-ECPA Bill

On October 8, 2015, Governor Jerry Brown of California signed into law Senate Bill 178, known as the California Electronic Communications Privacy Act (Cal-ECPA). Cal-ECPA mandates that California law enforcement agencies...more

United States v. Microsoft: ‘Global Chaos,’ Outdated Legislation And a Judge’s Plea to Congress

The Second Circuit’s challenge in considering the validity of a U.S. Stored Communications Act warrant to Microsoft for e-mails located on servers in Ireland involves interpreting the SCA, which was enacted nearly three...more

Federal Appeals Court Questions State Senator's Order to Remove a Dissident from the Senate Building

Removal Order Could Have Violated the First Amendment - Salvador Reza, a member of a community group focused on protecting migrant workers, attended an Arizona Senate session during a legislative hearing on a...more

Statute Criminalizing Election Campaign Lies Found to Violate First Amendment and Article 16

On August 6, 2015, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) in Commonwealth v. Lucas struck down Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 56, § 42 (Section 42), which criminalized the utterance or publication of “any false...more

Supreme Court Update: Zivotovsky V. Kerry (13-628), Mellouli V. Lynch (13-628) And Order List

The Court issued only one decision this week, but it was a biggie: Zivotovsky v. Kerry (13-628), aka the "Jerusalem passport case," which will surely find its way into the separation-of-powers chapter of Con Law casebooks in...more

Appellate Court Confirms that Convicted Felon Cannot Run for School Board Seat

On May 13, 2015, the Illinois Appellate Court’s First District held that the former Board President of an Illinois high school district’s Board of Education was ineligible to fill a vacancy on the board following his previous...more

Ninth Circuit Draws Clear Distinction Between California's Meeting Disruption Statutes

Skid Row Demonstration Disrupts a Neighborhood “Walk,” But Police Make an Arrest for the Wrong Violation - A Los Angeles Skid Row advocacy group faced off against those participating in a “walk” through the Skid Row...more

White House Imposes Sanctions on Venezuela

On March 9, 2015, pursuant to authority contained in the recently enacted Venezuela Defense of Human Rights and Civil Society Act (Act), President Obama issued an executive order (EO) declaring a national emergency with...more

The Crisis of New Jersey Courts and the Challenge to Judicial Recall

At the very core of judicial independence is the notion that courts and judges decide matters in accordance with the evidence and legal precedent, independent from political power or outside controls. The question of whether...more

Drone on Drones: Gov. Brown Vetoes AB 1327, Protecting Police Use of Drones

Amid controversy over the bill and its potential consequences, Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed AB 1327 this Sunday. The bill would have required law enforcement agencies to obtain a warrant before using a drone to gather criminal...more

U.S. House Approves Law Targeting Sex Trafficking Ads, Threatens to Undermine Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act

On May 20, 2014, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Stop Advertising Victims of Exploitation Act of 2014 (“SAVE Act”). If enacted, the bill would expose websites and other media to federal criminal penalties for...more

Weekly Recap Ethics News and Trends – March 3, 2014

Public servants with the utmost integrity also need to be aware of what is happening ethically around the state. In today’s climate, every public agency’s image is impacted by the missteps or misconduct of others. Below...more

Is Punishment Dead in America? [Video]

Feb. 25, 2014 -- New York Law School Professor Robert Blecker discusses his new book entitled "The Death of Punishment: Searching for Justice among the Worst of the Worst." Harvard Law School's Laurence Tribe called the book...more

Report deems NSA telephone records program illegal

The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board issued a report today concluding that the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of telephone call records is illegal and should be ended. ...more

History in the Making as Journalism, Law and Politics Converge for Federal Reporter's Shield

In September of this year, the U.S. Senate began debate on a federal reporter’s privilege. Free Flow of Information Act of 2013, S. 987, 113th Cong. §§ 2-5 (2013). The bipartisan bill to recognize such a privilege was...more

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