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In Face of Supreme Court Ruling, Hartford Moves to Regulate Anti-Choice Clinics

Officials in Hartford, Connecticut, rolled out an ordinance last week to prevent deceptive advertising practices at faith-based pregnancy centers that use anti-choice propaganda to...
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Video: ‘We’re lost, hopeless’: Hundreds of refugees expelled from public park in Nantes after...

Some 500 refugees are now stranded in a public garden in Nantes, France, where they are living in tents after being expelled from an...

Tennessee store owner reposts ‘No Gays Allowed’ sign after Supreme Court ruling — RT...

A Tennessee hardware store owner reinstated his ‘No Gays Allowed’ sign following the Supreme Court Ruling...
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Video: Will Trump’s Latest Islamophobic Tweets Impact Court Rulings on His Mostly-Muslim Travel Ban?

https://democracynow.org - Oral arguments are scheduled for next week in both federal appeals court cases of President Trump's proposed travel ban, which ... Via Youtube

Will Trump’s Latest Islamophobic Tweets Impact Court Rulings on His Mostly Muslim Travel Ban?

Oral arguments are scheduled for next week in both federal appeals court cases of President Trump's proposed travel ban, which blocks various people from...
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Video: Jungle 2? France to open migrant camps near Calais after court ruling

France will open two migrant centers near the port town of Calais, after a court ruled that the government must provide humane conditions for...

Despite Supreme Court Ruling, States Challenge Marriage Equality

The celebration in front of the United States Supreme Court upon the announcement of the Court's decision in Obergefell v. Hodges that same-sex marriage...

‘Brexit bill’ expected in parliament ‘within days’ as Supreme Court ruling rocks government

The British government has pledged to introduce a Brexit bill in parliament “within days” in...

Alex Salmond: Brexit ‘long way’ from done deal, court ruling ‘massive defeat’ for May

The Scottish National Party has welcomed a High Court ruling that will force the Brexit-triggering Article 50 to pass through parliament, as its foreign...
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Video: ‘Sharia patrol’ didn’t break law – German court ruling (DEBATE)

A German court has ruled that a group of Islamists did not break the law when forming a 'Sharia police force' in 2014. The...

Frozen embryos are property, not people – court ruling

A ruling out of Missouri’s Court of Appeals found that frozen embryos have the same rights...

Not even US president can legalize torture, Abu Ghraib inmates allowed to sue –...

A federal court has ruled in favor of four former Abu Ghraib detainees intending to sue...

High Court judge resorts to emojis in court ruling

A High Court judge has written a court ruling using simple phrases and emojis in...
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Video: National Guard on Standby in North Dakota Before Court Ruling on Dakota Access...

http://democracynow.org - North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple has activated the National Guard ahead of today's ruling on the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's ... Via Youtube

National Guard on Standby in North Dakota Before Court Ruling on Dakota Access Pipeline

North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple has activated the National Guard ahead of today's ruling on the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's lawsuit against...
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Video: Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Awaits Court Ruling On Dakota Access Oil Pipeline

TRNN's Kim Brown speaks to protesters outside the Washington, D.C. District CourtVisit http://therealnews.com for more videos. Via Youtube

British arms exports to Saudi Arabia to get full legal review after High Court...

Campaigners are bringing the government to justice after a judicial review into British arms exports...

‘Unprecedented’: UK activist fearing US extradition, 99yr sentence awaits landmark court ruling

UK authorities have hijacked a civil suit launched by a cybersecurity expert from Suffolk accused...
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Video: South Africa’s President Dodges Impeachment Despite Court Ruling

The focus on President Jacob Zuma's personal corruption is obscuring his embrace of austerity policies that are harming everyday people in South Africa, says...

Supreme Court tosses out lower court ruling on stun gun possession

The US Supreme Court tossed out a Massachusetts court ruling which argued that stun guns were...

Lawless, tyrannical EPA actively trying to circumvent Supreme Court ruling on emissions standards

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is a part of the federal government that is supposed to protect both human health and the environment. According...

Google ordered to drop links to irrelevant personal data in landmark EU court ruling

People have the right to make Google delete information about them from the tech giant’s search results, EU’s Court of Justice has ruled. Judges...

US court ruling upholds state efforts to disenfranchise voters

Patrick Martin RINF Alternative News A federal judge has ordered the federal agency established to help states increase turnout in elections to provide funding for...

Secret US court ruling on NSA ‘bad step’

A former CIA officer says the secret US court that governs surveillance activities has taken a œbad step” by ruling that the National Security...

Spaniards hail Madrid High Court ruling

File photo shows Spanish medical workers protesting against cuts and privatization.People in Spain have hailed a decision by Madrid™s High Court to block the...

‘Declassified’ Court Ruling Shows Lack, Not Triumph, of NSA Oversight

The Fisa court makes orders for bulk phone records under the Patriot Act. (Photograph: Matt Rourke/AP)A document purported by the government to be a...

“Declassified” Court Ruling Shows Lack, Not Truimph, of NSA Oversight

A document purported by the government to be a "declassifed" opinion by the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance court (FISC) was released on Tuesday, but...

EU court ruling ‘great victory’ for Iran

The European Court of Justice has ruled that the EU sanctions against the Islamic Republic™s shipping lines have to be lifted. Above, the headquarters...

US irked by EU court ruling on Iran bans

A new EU court ruling that rejected sanctions on a number of Iranian entities has drawn the ire of the United States, prompting Washington...

Texas sued for voter discrimination as fallout from Supreme Court ruling continues

The US Department of Justice has filed suit against Texas in an attempt to halt lawmakers from enacting a new law that would prevent...

Suspect Turkish Court Rulings

Suspect Turkish Court Rulings by Stephen Lendman On Monday, a landmark case ended. It was politically charged. It was suspect from inception. Everyone tried claimed innocence....

Suspect Turkish Court Rulings

Suspect Turkish Court Rulings by Stephen Lendman On Monday, a landmark case ended. It was politically charged. It was suspect from inception. Everyone tried claimed innocence....

Truthout TV Interviews Mark Karlin About the Recent Court Ruling on Jeff Olsen

Ted Asregadoo speaks to Mark Karlin, editor at Buzzflash at Truthout, about the recent court ruling on Jeff Olsen - who was charged with...

After Supreme Court Ruling on Voting Rights, Now It's Congress' Turn

Washington, DC – A divided Supreme Court on Tuesday struck down a centerpiece of the 1965 Voting Rights Act in a marked victory for Southern...

High Court Rulings Strike Blows to DOMA, California's Prop. 8

The Supreme Court used a pair of anticipated rulings June 26 to strike a blow to traditional marriage in the United States. The ruling...

4 Recent Supreme Court Rulings Show Which Way the Wind Is Blowing: Corporations Are...

They are not the Supreme Court’s highly anticipated rulings on same-sex marriage, voting rights and affirmative action, but the last week has seen a string of alarming decisions that strengthen the corporate assault on ordinary Americans, primarily by restricting American’s access to jury trials or making it harder to win in court.

Unanimous Supreme Court Ruling: Human Genes Cannot be Patented

On Thursday the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that patents on human genes are now void, while the successful creation of synthetic genes may continue to...

Unanimous Supreme Court Ruling: Human Genes Cannot be Patented

On Thursday the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that patents on human genes are now void, while the successful creation of synthetic genes may continue to...

Dutch Court Ruling Against Shell A Partial Victory

THE HAGUE, Netherlands - January 30 - Today a Dutch court ruled that Shell Nigeria is responsible for polluting farmlands in a landmark case brought by four Nigerian farmers and Friends of the Earth Netherlands. The court said Shell's subsidiary is accountable for damage caused by oil spills at Ikot Ada Udo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. Though this is an important victory, Friends of the Earth International is disappointed that the court did not return a similar verdict in the cases brought by the plaintiffs from Goi and Oruma communities. The plaintiffs and Friends of the Earth Netherlands plan to appeal this ruling, as well as the principle point of the liability of the Royal Dutch Shell (RDS) parent company.

“This win for the farmers of Ikot Ada Udo has set a precedent as it will be an important step that multinationals can more easily be made answerable for the damage they do in developing countries. We anticipate other communities will now demand that Shell pay for the assault on their environment”, says Friends of the Earth Nigeria’s Executive Director, Nnimmo Bassey, who has played a pivotal role in bringing to light the havoc wreaked by Shell in the Niger delta.

Likewise, Friends of Earth Netherlands campaigner Geert Ritsema comments: ‘This verdict is great news for the people in lkot Ada Udo who started this case together with Friends of the Earth Netherlands. But the verdict also offers hope to other victims of environmental pollution caused by multinationals. At the same time, the verdict is a bitter disappointment for the people in the villages of Oruma and Goi – where the court did not hold Shell liable for the damage. Fortunately, this can still change in an appeal’, he added.

The four Nigerian plaintiffs have been demanding that Shell cleans up the oil pollution in their communities, compensates those affected and prevent further leaks from occurring. The communities of the Niger Delta depend primarily on the environment for their livelihoods, including farming and fishing. Oil industry operations in the Niger Delta have damaged or destroyed local food and water supplies, biodiversity and fishing ponds and crops that locals had used to earn money. Today's ruling follows a hearing in October 2012, which was a landmark in itself.

The court decided not to hold the parent company liable for damage done in Nigeria. Friends of the Earth Netherlands was denied access to evidence proving Shell’s international parent company based in the Netherlands (RDS) determines the daily affairs of Shell’s Nigerian subsidiary (SPDC). RDS owns 100% of SPDC shares. SPDC’s profits (estimated at €1.8 billion annually) are deposited in the Netherlands. Nevertheless, under existing laws, RDS cannot be held liable for the damage done on the basis of these facts alone. Friends of the Earth Netherlands must prove that governance actually comes from the headquarters in the Netherlands. Because Shell has not been ordered by the court to allow access to internal company documents which would demonstrate their governance of SPDC, it has been very difficult to prove this. ‘Apparently our justice system allows a company to pocket the profits from a foreign subsidiary without being held liable for the damage it causes while producing those profits.’ said Geert Ritsema of Friends of the Earth Netherlands.

The court also ruled that Shell has convincingly proven that sabotage was involved in two of the three villages. The plaintiffs find it incomprehensible that the court has allowed itself to be convinced by a number of blurry photos and poor quality video images submitted by Shell.

Dutch Court Ruling Against Shell A Partial Victory

THE HAGUE, Netherlands - January 30 - Today a Dutch court ruled that Shell Nigeria is responsible for polluting farmlands in a landmark case brought by four Nigerian farmers and Friends of the Earth Netherlands. The court said Shell's subsidiary is accountable for damage caused by oil spills at Ikot Ada Udo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. Though this is an important victory, Friends of the Earth International is disappointed that the court did not return a similar verdict in the cases brought by the plaintiffs from Goi and Oruma communities. The plaintiffs and Friends of the Earth Netherlands plan to appeal this ruling, as well as the principle point of the liability of the Royal Dutch Shell (RDS) parent company.

“This win for the farmers of Ikot Ada Udo has set a precedent as it will be an important step that multinationals can more easily be made answerable for the damage they do in developing countries. We anticipate other communities will now demand that Shell pay for the assault on their environment”, says Friends of the Earth Nigeria’s Executive Director, Nnimmo Bassey, who has played a pivotal role in bringing to light the havoc wreaked by Shell in the Niger delta.

Likewise, Friends of Earth Netherlands campaigner Geert Ritsema comments: ‘This verdict is great news for the people in lkot Ada Udo who started this case together with Friends of the Earth Netherlands. But the verdict also offers hope to other victims of environmental pollution caused by multinationals. At the same time, the verdict is a bitter disappointment for the people in the villages of Oruma and Goi – where the court did not hold Shell liable for the damage. Fortunately, this can still change in an appeal’, he added.

The four Nigerian plaintiffs have been demanding that Shell cleans up the oil pollution in their communities, compensates those affected and prevent further leaks from occurring. The communities of the Niger Delta depend primarily on the environment for their livelihoods, including farming and fishing. Oil industry operations in the Niger Delta have damaged or destroyed local food and water supplies, biodiversity and fishing ponds and crops that locals had used to earn money. Today's ruling follows a hearing in October 2012, which was a landmark in itself.

The court decided not to hold the parent company liable for damage done in Nigeria. Friends of the Earth Netherlands was denied access to evidence proving Shell’s international parent company based in the Netherlands (RDS) determines the daily affairs of Shell’s Nigerian subsidiary (SPDC). RDS owns 100% of SPDC shares. SPDC’s profits (estimated at €1.8 billion annually) are deposited in the Netherlands. Nevertheless, under existing laws, RDS cannot be held liable for the damage done on the basis of these facts alone. Friends of the Earth Netherlands must prove that governance actually comes from the headquarters in the Netherlands. Because Shell has not been ordered by the court to allow access to internal company documents which would demonstrate their governance of SPDC, it has been very difficult to prove this. ‘Apparently our justice system allows a company to pocket the profits from a foreign subsidiary without being held liable for the damage it causes while producing those profits.’ said Geert Ritsema of Friends of the Earth Netherlands.

The court also ruled that Shell has convincingly proven that sabotage was involved in two of the three villages. The plaintiffs find it incomprehensible that the court has allowed itself to be convinced by a number of blurry photos and poor quality video images submitted by Shell.

Court Ruling on Labor Board a Bid to Return to Era of Open Season...

(Photo: National Nurses United)The appeals court ruling Friday overturning President Obama’s recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board is a huge gift to Wall Street, big corporations and the politicians they control who have worked for years to overturn protections for working people in the U.S.

In healthcare the implications are especially insidious. It is a clear assault on the ability of nurses to act collectively to improve safety standards and public protections for patients. If nurses are unable to speak out for patients and act together to safeguard conditions, all patients are threatened in an era in which most hospital employers place their bottom line above patient safety.

When the board is not dominated by corporate-oriented appointees, as it has been most of the past four decades, the game plan of the anti-union crowd is to bar it from operating, either by refusing to confirm appointees, defunding or other destabilization tactics. That was what prompted these recess appointments, made by President Obama only after the Senate minority blocked confirmation of his nominees needed to restore a quorum on the board to enable it to function.

Without a quorum, the effect of the court ruling and the goal of those who brought it, workers experience delays that can drag on for years if they object to unfair discipline, intimidation or harassment by employers, or attempt to form a union to represent them.

In 2007, for example, the California Nurses Association filed labor board charges in response to retaliation by a rural Northern California hospital against RNs for legally protected union activity and other violations of federal law. 

After initial board delays, an NLRB administrative law judge ruled in 2009 that the hospital had acted illegally.  But when the hospital employer appealed to Washington, the NLRB was unable to act for years because of the lack of a quorum on the NLRB.

Only after the recess appointments were made was the NLRB able to act on this case along with a large backlog of other delayed decisions. 

A final decision on the 2007 charge was issued just days ago affirming the 2009 law judge ruling. Now that decision, too, is in jeopardy, further delaying justice for the nurses. Once again justice delayed is justice denied.

That, of course, is the real intent of this court challenge, the obstruction of the Senate in confirming Presidential appointees, and blatant attempts by the U.S. Chamber of Chamber and the politicians they heavily influence. They want to gut any semblance of federal protection for workers who need a collective voice to counter multi-million dollar employers who profit off denying workplace rights, consumer rights, and reducing worker living standards.

Labor law was enacted in the 1930s precisely to provide some balance in the workplace and fairer treatment for workers. It helped sustain the growth of unions which led to dramatic improvements in living standards for all Americans in the 1950s and 1960s.

Since then, the neo-liberal agenda has been to overturn any labor law rights for workers which has contributed to the growing decline of union membership and the concurrent stagnation in wages and economic security for all U.S. workers, while more wealth is transferred to corporate board rooms and private jet owners.

 This decision is a further reminder that the labor movement, and all those who believe in workplace and democratic rights, need to step up our efforts to challenge Wall Street, the Chamber and those on its strings. We need to get back in the streets, forcefully challenge those who would deny our rights, and unite a broad movement to press for participatory democracy and social change.

Rose Ann DeMoro

Rose Ann DeMoro is executive director of the 185,000-member National Nurses United, the nation’s largest union and professional association of nurses, and a national vice president of the AFL-CIO. Follow Rose Ann DeMoro on Twitter: www.twitter.com/NationalNurses

Israeli forces evict West Bank Palestinian outpost despite court ruling

(Image from twitter user@man_on_crack)

(Image from twitter user@man_on_crack)

Hundreds of Israeli security forces have raided and evicted an outpost set up by Palestinian activists in the occupied West Bank, despite an earlier injunction by Israel’s High Court preventing the government from such action.

Several activists have been reportedly detained.

On Friday dozens of Palestinians pitched tents in the disputed E1 area, where Israel plans to build settlements. Around 20 large, steel-framed tents were set up in the “Bab Al Shams” camp, in a bid to preserve the area for an independent Palestinian state.

Israeli forces entered the encampment early Sunday morning after surrounding the site late on Saturday and preventing activists from entering.

The eviction was ordered by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and came despite a temporary injunction ordered by Israel’s High Court preventing the state from taking such action, Haaretz reports. The government told the court that the evacuation was a matter of “urgent security.”

The eviction comes despite the tents being pitched on private Palestinian land, according to Haaretz .

The building of Israeli settlements is frowned upon by many international powers which say the move will be detrimental to securing an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal. Direct peace talks between Israel and Palestine broke down in 2010.

Israel has frozen building in E1 for many years, after coming under pressure from then US President George W. Bush.

However, Netanyahu announced settlement plans after the Palestinians won de-facto state recognition at the UN General Assembly last year. Those plans involve building around 4,000 housing units in the area.

(Image from twitter user@AbirKopty)
(Image from twitter user@AbirKopty)

The photo reportedly shows owners of the land where "Bab Al Shams" stands showing the deeds of ownership. (Image from twitter user@Tweet_Palestine)
The photo reportedly shows owners of the land where "Bab Al Shams" stands showing the deeds of ownership. (Image from twitter user@Tweet_Palestine)

Bronx Residents Accosted by NYPD Win Landmark Court Ruling Deeming “Stop and Frisk” Tactic...

A federal judge has ruled that New York City police are not allowed to routinely stop pedestrians outside of private residential buildings in the Bronx. The stops are part of the so-called Clean Halls program, which has prompted allegations of police harassment by some residents who say they are being accosted outside of the buildings in which they live. Previous data on the New York Police Department’s "stop-and-frisk" policy has shown African-American and Latino men make up a hugely disproportionate share of those stopped. We’re joined by Molly Kovel, staff attorney with the Bronx Defenders and part of the legal team in the case; and by Abdullah Turner, a Bronx resident whose building is enrolled in the Clean Halls program and who says he was unfairly arrested while waiting for a friend inside. 

GUESTS:

Molly Kovel, A staff attorney with the Bronx Defenders. Her clients are residents of the Bronx who were illegally stopped by New York City police as part of Operation Clean Halls –- part of the stop-and-frisk program that allows police officers to patrol in and around certain private apartment buildings.

Abdullah Turner, A Bronx resident whose building is enrolled in the “Clean Halls” program and who says he was unfairly arrested while waiting for a friend inside.

Court ruling: DNA profiles can be kept indefinitely

The Ohio Supreme Court ruled unanimously Thursday that if the state legally obtains DNA from a suspect, investigators can keep the DNA profile indefinitely,...

U.S. opposes release of court rulings on wiretaps

The Bush administration opposed in U.S. court on Friday an effort to peel back a secrecy lid over its domestic counterterrorism wiretapping program, which...

Court Ruling that NSA Wiretapping is Illegal Drives Emergency Push for New Spy Powers,...

By Ryan Singel The Bush Administration's hard press for emergency wiretapping powers from Congress before the August break now has an explanation: a secret court...

‘Fracking Three’ freed as court of appeal declare original ruling ‘manifestly excessive’ — RT...

Three anti-fracking activists who were jailed for blocking access to Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site...
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Video: US against World Court: Trump hits back after Iran ruling

The US is withdrawing from the "optional protocol" in the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, John Bolton has confirmed. He said it follows a...
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Video: In Janus Case, Court Issues Major Anti-Labor Ruling, Eviscerating Power of Public-Sector Unions

https://democracynow.org - Justice Anthony Kennedy's announcement came as the Supreme Court struck a major blow to organized labor Wednesday. In a 5-4 ... Via Youtube

US Supreme Court Decision a “Roadmap” for a Ruling on Partisan Gerrymandering Case

A unanimous US Supreme Court handed down a decision in Gill v. Whitford, a case challenging the extreme partisan gerrymandering of Wisconsin voting districts...
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Video: In Narrow Ruling, Supreme Court Sides with Baker Who Refused Cake to Same-Sex...

https://democracynow.org - The Supreme Court ruled Monday in favor of a Colorado baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple,...
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Video: Groundbreaking ruling: Top sports court overturns IOC’s ban on 28 Russian athletes

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has cleared 28 Russian athletes and dropped their life-bans over alleged doping. READ MORE: https://on.rt.com/8y73 RT LIVE...

Trump admin appeals DACA ruling, petitions Supreme Court — RT US News

In a “rare step,” the US Justice Department will petition the Supreme Court to stop a...
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Video: German court on jihadist ruling: People can’t be deported if they face inhuman...

A court ruling in German has provoked controversy after it refused the deportation of a Turkish jihadist. The decision's likely to also give chancellor...
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Video: Supreme Court Allows Part of Trump Travel Ban to Take Effect Before Ruling...

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Supreme Court unanimously strikes down Gorsuch ruling

Published time: 23 Mar, 2017 03:25Edited time: 23 Mar, 2017 08:58 A ruling made by US Supreme...

Tony Blair Iraq War case could be hindered by Supreme Court Brexit ruling –...

Lawyers acting for the bereaved families of service personnel killed in the Iraq War say the Supreme Court’s Article 50 Brexit ruling could affect...

Brexit legal challenge: Theresa May appeals Article 50 ruling in Supreme Court

Prime Minister Theresa May’s government launched its Supreme Court appeal on Monday to overturn an earlier High Court ruling, which stated Article 50 of...

Democracy could get in the way of war if High Court Brexit ruling stands,...

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Nigel Farage plans to head 100,000-strong march on Supreme Court to protest Brexit ruling

Acting UKIP leader Nigel Farage is planning to lead a 100,000-strong march to the Supreme Court on the day Prime Minister Theresa May’s government...

Supreme Court makes major rulings on abortion, gun rights, corruption

The US Supreme Court struck down abortion restrictions in Texas, ruled that domestic violence misdemeanor convictions are grounds to lose gun ownership rights, and...

Supreme Court's Non-Ruling Leaves Contraception Access for Religious Nonprofit Employees Uncertain

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Video: What does the Supreme Court EPA Ruling Mean for Ohio?

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High Court Blocks Obamacare's Contraception Mandate for Christian College The US Supreme Court late Thursday handed religiously affiliated nonprofit groups a big victory in the...

California court permits undocumented immigrant to practice law in unprecedented ruling

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Appeals Court Stays Stop and Frisk Ruling


Appeals Court Stays Stop and Frisk Ruling

by Stephen Lendman

Stop and frisk is longstanding NYPD policy. It reflects brazen racial profiling. It affects hundreds of thousands of Black and Latino New York city residents annually.

No evidence proves it's effective. Plenty shows it's racially motivated. It violates core constitutional rights. It's one of many abusive practices.

On August 12, US District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Shira Scheindlin issued a landmark ruling. It was scathing.

She said NYPD "adopted a policy of indirect racial profiling." Doing so violates "violated their constitutional rights in two ways:

(1) they were stopped without a legal basis in violation of the Fourth Amendment, and

(2) they were targeted for stops because of their race in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment."

Limits on stops are "paramount," she said. They must "be based on 'reasonable suspicion' as defined by the Supreme Court of the United States."

They must "be conducted in a racially neutral manner."

"The enshrinement of constitutional rights necessarily takes certain policy choices off the table."

"No one should live in fear of being stopped whenever he leaves his home to go about the activities of daily life."

"Those who are routinely subjected to stops are overwhelmingly people of color, and they are justifiably troubled to be singled out when many of them have done nothing to attract unwanted attention."

Equal protection under the law is fundamental, said Scheindlin. "The Constitution prohibits selective enforcement based on considerations such as race."

Judge Scheindlin acted responsibly. It doesn't matter. According to the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, she "ran afoul" of the judiciary's code of conduct.

She did so, it said, by compromising the "appearance of the impartiality surrounding this litigation."

The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) initiated a federal class action lawsuit against New York City. Floyd, et al. v. City of New York, et al. challenged "NYPD's practices of racial profiling and unconstitutional stop-and frisks."

CCR called Floyd New York's "trial of the century." It cut to the very heart of discriminatory police practices. CCR sued to end them.

On October 29, it headlined "Attorneys Urge Appellate Court to Reject City's Attempt to Delay Remedial Process." 

They urged the court to affirm the stopping of "unconstitutional stop and frisk practices." Judge Scheindlin ordered input from community stakeholders most affected.

She did so to determine just and proper remedies. None so far were ordered. NYPD's stop and frisk policy violates Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches. It states:

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

In other words, stopping and frisking someone requires reasonable suspicion that a crime has been, is being, or will be committed. Indiscriminate police actions are unconstitutional.

Former Supreme Court Justice William Douglas once warned against giving "police greater power than a magistrate." Doing so, he said, "is to take a long step down the totalitarian path."

Federal courts today have few like Douglas. The Supreme Court has none. It's stacked with Federalist Society members.

They include Chief Justice John Roberts, Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy, and Clarence Thomas. They're ideological extremists. So are most appeals court justices.

In response to Judge Scheindlin's ruling, CCR issued the following statement:

"The court has correctly recognized that thousands of New Yorkers whose rights are violated regularly by the NYPD’s stop and frisk practices - and not the City itself - are the ones who would be harmed by this latest attempt to delay reforms."  

"After more than a decade of unconstitutional and racially discriminatory police practices, overwhelming legislative support for changes, and a massive mobilization by affected communities, it is long past time for the City to end its resistance and participate in making those changes."  

"If Mayor Bloomberg truly seeks a police force that serves New Yorkers, here is his opportunity - come to the table and help make it a reality."

On October 29, CCR urged appellate court justices to reject this attempt to reverse Floyd.

For over a decade, New York resisted reforms. Abusive stop and frisk policies continued. According to CCR Senior Staff Attorney Darius Charney:

"Delaying the joint remedial process will only continue to harm the communities who have suffered massive violations of their constitutional rights for so long: it is in the community's interest that we begin the discussion without further delay."

CCR added that "(n)umerous city community groups, faith healers, unions, and policing experts submitted declarations." 

They affirmed that delaying the remedial process harms city interests. In 2012, New York city's population exceeded 8,300,000. Blacks and Latinos comprise a majority (around 55%). 

They have the most to gain or lose. Floyd gives them protection they haven't had for years. It's high time they got it. 

Not according to hard right appellate court justices. They acted irresponsibly. They stayed Judge Scheindlin's ruling. They didn't reverse it. They ordered Floyd reassigned to a new district court judge. 

Ironically its John Koeltl. In 2006, he unjustly sentenced Lynne Stewart to 28 months in prison. She was convicted despite having committed no crimes.

On appeal, her case was remanded back to Koeltl. He disgracefully increased her sentence to 10 years.

Lynne today suffers from Stage 4 cancer. She's dying. She's denied life-saving treatment. Koeltl denied her compassionate release request. 

Imagine how he'll treat New York city Blacks and Latinos. With as much disdain as shown Lynne seems likely.

At the same time, he was instructed to put off "all proceedings and otherwise await further action."

The appeals court hasn't yet ruled on whether Judge Scheindlin's decision reached the right constitutional conclusion.

"We intimate no view on the substance or merits of the pending appeals," it said. The process extends into 2014. By then, New York will have a new mayor.

Democrat Bill de Blasio looks likely to win. Polls show he's far ahead of his Republican opponent. He issued a statement saying:

"We have to end the overuse of stop and frisk, and any delay only means a continued and unnecessary rift between our police and the people they protect."

If elected, it remains to be seen if his policy matches his rhetoric. He can simply order the practice stopped.

CCR said the following the Second Circuit's ruling:

"We are dismayed that the Court of Appeals saw fit to delay the long-overdue process to remedy the NYPD’s unconstitutional stop-and-frisk practices, and we are shocked that they cast aspersions on the professional conduct of one of the most respected members of the federal judiciary and reassigned the case."  

"The City carried out a whisper campaign against Judge Scheindlin but never once raised any legal claims of bias, even in its papers to the Court of Appeals." 

"That, unprompted, they should reassign the case from a judge deeply steeped in the issues for the last 14 years, who gave the City every opportunity to defend itself in the course of this litigation, is troubling and unprecedented."

According to NYPD's own internal records, around 90% of stop and frisk victims are innocent. They're unjustly targeted. Violating their constitutional rights raises serious concerns.

It's one of many abuses minority Americans endure. It reflects a slippery slope toward totalitarian injustice.

On October 31, New York's ACLU vowed to appeal. It issued a statement saying:

"The New York Civil Liberties Union this afternoon promised to fight a federal appeals court's decision postponing the remedy proceedings in New York City’s stop-and-frisk abuse case." 

"The decision, issued by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, did not overturn the landmark ruling that the NYPD's abuse of stop-and-frisk is unconstitutional."

NYCLU's Executive Director Donna Lieberman added: 

"There is overwhelming evidence that the stop-and-frisk regime is unconstitutional and out of control - just ask any black or brown New Yorker." 

"We expect the next mayoral administration to make reforming stop-and-frisk a top priority, and we are confident New York City will soon see a day when all New Yorkers' basic rights are protected and respected."

New York Times editors weighed in. They took a principled stand. Most often they're irresponsible on imperial lawlessness and other major issues. They headlined "A Bad Ruling on Stop-and-Frisk," saying:

The Second Circuit Court acted "unwise(ly)." It stayed Judge Scheindlin's ruling. (I)t overreached in taking the extraordinary step of removing (her) from the long-running litigation."

It mischaracterized her responsible ruling. It added insult to injury by alleging "she created the 'appearance of impropriety' by granting press interviews while the case was pending before her."

She had every right to do so. At the same time, she avoided discussing Floyd. She defended herself against a malicious city smear campaign. "I know I'm not their favorite judge," she said.

"I do think that I treat the government as only one more litigant. I don't think they're entitled to deference."

"I think some of the judges are a little more timid to maybe disagree with the US attorney's office."

"They have to prove their case like anybody else. I don't give them special respect. Maybe some judges do because they came from the office. They know the people there, whatever. I try not to do that."

She called targeting her judicial independence a "below the belt attack." Reports that Mayor Bloomberg ordered it made it worse, she added.

"It's very painful," she stressed. "Judges can't easily defend themselves" publicly. "To attack a judge personally is completely inappropriate and intimidates (them) or it is intended to intimidate (them) or it has an effect on other judges and that worries me."

At times, "(y)ou could be in danger physically," she added. Maybe New York cops will target her. Maybe they'll be ordered to do so.

According to Times editors:

"Judge Scheindlin did not strike down the program, which, when properly used, is an important crime-fighting tool." 

"But she sensibly ordered the city to use it in a manner that does not discriminate against minorities and that complied with constitutional protections against unreasonable search and seizure."

"Under the Fourth Amendment, police officers can legally detain people on the street when there is a reasonable suspicion that the person is committing, has committed or is about to commit a crime." 

"In addition to violating people's rights, the program, as practiced for years in New York, undermined trust in the Police Department in black and Hispanic communities throughout the city."

"Given all the damage done by this program, the next mayor should end this saga by withdrawing the city's appeal and instituting the cogent reforms laid out by Judge Scheindlin."

Most often Times editors act irresponsibly. Give credit where it's deserved. This time they stood tall. 

Judge Scheindlin deserves high praise for ruling justly. Implementing her important reforms should proceed straightaway. 

New York's most disadvantaged deserve that much and more. It remains to be seen whether any justice will be forthcoming. So much already is lost nationwide.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

http://www.dailycensored.com/appeals-court-stays-stop-frisk-ruling/

US court stops NYC stop-and-frisk ruling

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http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_limited_reach_of_the_supreme_courts_gay_marriage_rulings_20130627/ Posted on Jun 27, 2013 ...

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Uruguay protests Supreme Court’s ruling

Activists showing pictures of people who disappeared during the military rule in Uruguay on Auguest 11, 2011.

Protests have been held against Uruguay’s Supreme Court and its ruling against a law permitting investigations into crimes carried out by the previous dictatorship.

On Monday, hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside the Supreme Court after it ruled that the law allowing investigations into human rights abuses from the 1973-1985 dictatorship would be in violation of the constitution.

On Friday, the Supreme Court said a law passed in 2011 by Uruguay’s Congress that made such investigations or prosecutions possible despite a 1986 amnesty law, was unconstitutional. The court also re-established the amnesty.

In October 2011, in a controversial move, the Uruguayan Congress adopted a law that eliminated the effects of the amnesty law which protected police and military personnel from being prosecuted over human rights violations.

The new law also repealed a statute of limitations that aimed at preventing victims of human rights abuses from being able to file criminal complaints.

Under the military rule, Uruguay had the largest number of political prisoners in the world, and some 200 people were kidnapped and killed.

SZH/PKH

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PlayStop pop out ...

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The Republican Supreme Court – LewRockwell

By Paul Craig Roberts PaulCraigRoberts.org January 18, 2018 ...

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https://democracynow.org - On June 19, the Supreme Court reversed a federal appeals court ruling that former high-level Bush administration officials may be ... Via Youtube

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(Photo: Gil Megidish; Edited: LW / TO) In times of great injustice, independent media is crucial to fighting back against misinformation. Support grassroots journalism: Make...

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Video: Supreme Court Strikes Down Racial Gerrymandering in North Carolina

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Video: Mass evacuation in Caracas as anti-govt protesters attack court with petrol bombs

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Zephyr Teachout: Supreme Court Pick Neil Gorsuch "Sides With Big Business, Big Donors and...

Confirmation hearings begin today for Neil Gorsuch, President Trump's pick to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court. If confirmed by...

US appeals court rejects last-minute bid to block DAPL launch

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Trump administration to appeal travel ban halt to 4th Circuit Court

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Trump administration sides against its own consumer watchdog agency in court

Published time: 18 Mar, 2017 03:24 The Department of Justice has filed a court motion to weaken...

‘That Violence Against Our Community Is Often Not Told by Media’ – CounterSpin interview...

Janine Jackson interviewed Kris Hayashi about the Supreme Court’s non-ruling on trans students for the March 10, 2017, episode of CounterSpin. This is a...

Headscarves can be banned at work, European court rules

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How SCOTUS Campaign Finance Rulings 'Distorted' US Democracy

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Nancy Altman on Trumpcare, Kris Hayashi on Transgender Non-Ruling

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Democrats move to challenge Trump's new travel ban in court

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The Supreme Court Won't Hear Gavin Grimm's Case; What Does That Mean for Transgender...

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Uber drivers must pass English tests, High Court rules

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Sex offender goes to Supreme Court over social media ban

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Maryland’s military weapons ban upheld by federal appeals court

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Scrutiny for Supreme Court Pick Fails to Focus on Rights of Disabled

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Scrutiny for Supreme Court Pick Fails to Focus on Rights of Disabled

For the New York Times, blocking Gorsuch is appeasement, while letting him on is honorable. Since Donald Trump announced Neil Gorsuch as his nominee for...

Halt on Trump travel ban upheld by 9th Circuit Court

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Court Refuses to Reinstate Trump's Muslim Ban, Says "No Evidence" of Attacks From Seven...

In a major victory for civil rights advocates, the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has unanimously refused to reinstate Donald Trump's executive order...

Appeals Court Rules Against Trump, Keeping Ban on Hold For Now

In the latest legal blow to President Donald Trump's attempt to institute a controversial immigration and travel ban targeting seven predominantly Muslim nations, the...

Federal Appeals Court Refuses to Reinstate Trump Travel Ban

A federal appeals court refused Thursday to reinstate President Donald Trump’s ban on travelers from seven predominantly Muslim nations, dealing another legal...
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Video: Neil Gorsuch, Trump SCOTUS Pick, Has History of Ruling Against Workers, Women &...

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Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland shouldn’t get say on Brexit, Supreme Court rules

Devolved parliaments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland should not have a say on the terms of Brexit, the Supreme Court has ruled. The...

‘Establishment delaying Brexit’: #Article50 ruling divides internet

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Theresa May cannot trigger Brexit without parliamentary permission, UK Supreme Court rules

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UK Supreme Court to rule if PM can trigger Brexit without parliamentary permission

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Taliban bomb maker’s case against British military thrown out by Supreme Court

A Taliban bomb maker seeking to sue the British military over his detention in Afghanistan has had his case thrown out by the Supreme...

Florida Supreme Court orders 150 death row inmates be resentenced

At least 150 death row inmates in Florida will need to be resentenced after the state’s supreme court ruled that they had been convicted...

Europe’s highest court declares UK ‘snooper charter’ illegal

Britain’s controversial ‘snooper’s charter’ has been delivered a blow from the EU with its highest court ruling that the government’s “indiscriminate retention” of emails...

Supreme Court rejects Ohio inmate’s appeal to block 2nd execution attempt

The US Supreme Court has rejected an appeal by an Ohio inmate to stop a second...

'Clearly not over': Dakota Access Pipeline saga goes to court in 2017

The battle over the Dakota Access Pipeline has not yet finished, despite the Army Corps of...
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Video: Debate to decide UK fate? Brexit parliamentary vote case in British Supreme Court

A crucial hearing on Brexit is underway in the UK's Supreme Court. The British government is seeking to overturn an earlier High Court ruling,...

Mistrial ruling in case of Cincinnati cop who shot black man triggers fresh protests

Protests erupted outside the courthouse after 12 jurors failed to produce a unanimous verdict in the...

Hated Tory ‘bedroom tax’ discriminated against disabled claimants, court rules

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Islamic school’s sex segregation policy is not discriminatory – High Court

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Supreme Court to hear British govt Brexit appeal Dec 5-8

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Video: No Brexit without Parliamentary approval, UK High Court rules

Britons who voted for their country to leave the EU have been dealt a blow by a ruling from the UK's High Court, which...

#StopFundingHate: Twitter users demand Daily Mail boycott over Brexit ruling coverage

Thousands have taken to social media with the hashtag #StopFundingHate to urge companies advertising with...

British High Court Rules Parliament Must Vote To Leave EU To Complete Brexit Process

Parliament must vote on whether the UK can start the process of leaving the EU, the High Court has ruled. This means...

In North Carolina, battle for votes turns to emails & courts

Democrats are accusing Republicans of voter suppression in the key battleground state of North Carolina, citing...

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In a major blow for Prime Minister Theresa May, the British government has lost its case for making the sole call on triggering Article...

Sharia courts inquiry: Muslim women used as ‘political football’

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International Criminal Court ‘about to probe US war crimes in Afghanistan’ – report

Over the next few weeks, the International Criminal Court (ICC) could open an investigation into war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Afghan...

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Court Rules UK Mass Spying Was Unlawfully Conducted for Nearly Two Decades

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‘Unconstitutional’: Florida’s top court strikes down death penalty legislation

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Abortion restrictions struck down by Oklahoma Supreme Court

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Court Rules Black Men May Be Justified in Running From Police

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Sacked BBC journalist who refused to prioritize Prince George’s birth wins £51k in court

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Court denies Sioux tribe request to halt Dakota Access pipeline construction

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UK courts need Islamic divorces to protect Muslim women – sharia scholar

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Gun sale bans for medical marijuana users constitutional, US appeals court rules

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Stanford sex assault case judge no longer ruling on criminal cases

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Court decides 130,000 new Labour members to be barred from voting

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130,000 new Labour members can vote in leadership ballot, High Court rules… but NEC...

Labour Party members who joined after January 12 have won the right to vote in...

German Jewish Leaders Slam Court for Acquitting Holocaust Denier

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Courts Strike Down Voter Restriction Laws That Target Black People With "Surgical Precision"

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Ohio court strikes down law banning cops from having sex with minors

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US Court Overturns NC Voting Law Requiring ID for Being "Discriminatory" to NonWhites

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Welsh teen held captive, beaten & starved in Saudi Arabia, court told

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Ohio judge jails attorney for wearing Black Lives Matter badge in court

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Elgin Marbles won’t be returned to Greece as Euro court throws out first-ever legal...

The first legal bid to have the priceless Elgin Marbles returned from the UK to...

Texas voter ID law is discriminatory, requires changes – court

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Video: South China Sea dispute intensifies: Philippines wins Hague ruling, China slams decision

China is refusing to recognise The Hague's historic court ruling over territory in the South China Sea, in favour of the Philippines. Beijing says...

Fate of Keystone XL Pipeline Could Be Decided in a Texas Courtroom Before NAFTA...

Michael Bishop on his land in Douglas, Texas. (Photo: Julie Dermansky) Texas landowner Michael Bishop continues to challenge TransCanada's right to build the...

Detained immigrant children ordered released – California court

Immigrant children, who crossed the US border without documentation and were held in family detention centers by Homeland Security officials, must be released ruled...
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Video: Supreme Court Strikes Down Texas’s Repressive Anti-Abortion Bill

The American Prospect's Rachel Cohen says the historic ruling will have a ripple effect in other states that followed Texas's anti-abortion measures. Via Youtube

Court annuls Austria's presidential vote, orders do-over election

Austria will schedule another presidential election following Friday's annulment of the May vote, which was settled by less than 1 percentage point....
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Video: Supreme Court Strikes Down Texas’s Repressive Anti-Abortion Bill

The American Prospect's Rachel Cohen says the historic ruling will have a ripple effect in other states that followed Texas's anti-abortion measures. Via Youtube

In Wake of Supreme Court Disappointment, Immigrant Rights Advocates Vow to Turn Out the...

Protesters demonstrate over the Supreme Court's ruling on President Obama's immigration policy, at Foley Square in New York, June 24, 2016. The...

FBI can collect home IP addresses without warrant when probing websites – court

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Video: Undocumented Mother & U.S. Citizen Daughter Call on Obama to Stop Deportations Despite...

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Video: SCOTUS Ruling on Race-Conscious College Admissions a Great Victory for Equal Educational Opportunity

http://democracynow.org - On Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in Fisher v. University of Texas and held that...

Internet celebrates affirmative action court decision via #BeckyWithTheBadGrades

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Supreme Court blocks Obama anti-deportation order with 4-4 tie

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Covering Net Neutrality Ruling, Truthout Cites FAIR to Sound Cautionary Note

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Britain can deny EU migrants child benefits, rules European Court of Justice

Europe’s top judges have backed Britain’s right to deny family welfare benefits to unemployed EU migrants who have been in the country for less...

North Carolina’s cyberbullying law violates First Amendment – Supreme Court

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Cops swiping credit cards is not unreasonable search – court

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‘Prove you were spied on,’ secret UK court tells 650 claimants

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'Five-decade-long battle': Court orders Mississippi school district to desegregate

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File hosting service Mega forced to give user data to US court

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NYPD must disclose cancer risks of X-ray spy vans, court rules

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Afghan interpreters lose court appeal for UK assistance

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Colorado Supreme Court Strips the Constitutional Right To Enact Local Fracking Bans

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Oklahoma to amend law after court ruled oral sex not a crime if victim...

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Supreme Court refuses to block controversial Texas voter ID law

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Victims of brutal CIA interrogation win landmark ruling to sue black site psychologists

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‘Terrorism investigation’ Court lets NSA collect telephone records data

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Parents know best: NY highest court rules in favor of parental eavesdropping

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Ted Cruz wins citizenship battle, eligible to be president – Penn. Supreme Court

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Obama high court pick Merrick Garland: A record of support for police powers

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U.S. Supreme Court Denies Effort to Overturn Tongass National Forest Protections

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‘Conscientious objectors’: Supreme Court divided on nuns’ challenge to Affordable Care Act

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Workers win class-action lawsuit against Tyson at Supreme Court

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No man left behind? Afghan interpreters challenge resettlement ruling

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Corporate Media’s ‘Ideal’ Supreme Court Nominee Embraced ‘Legal Black Hole’ Theory

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GMA, GMOs and the letter of the law: Lobbying in food-labeling initiative goes to...

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In ‘Landmark Victory,’ Japanese Court Orders Nuke Plant Shutdown

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War-torn Afghanistan now safe enough to resume deportations, UK court rules

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Stop-and-Frisk Attorneys Comment on Court Monitor’s Second Report

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Supreme Court Contention: It Didn’t Start With Bork

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This Global Ruling Is Just Not Cool

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Upholding Power of the People, Court Says Voters Can Weigh In on Citizens United

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Court Rules Bush Administration Can Be Sued for Its "War on Terror" Conduct

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Government attempts to avoid court hearing into UK complicity in rendition

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Feds may need warrant for web browser surveillance, court rules

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Prisoner voting ban lawful, rules European Court of Justice

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U.S. Supreme Court Denies Kentucky County Clerk’s Request to Continue Refusing Marriage Licenses

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Cruel and unusual? Federal court to consider California death penalty

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Washington Supreme Court Rules All SeaTac Workers Be Paid $15 Minimum Wage

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Appeals Court Rules That KBR Can Keep Evidence Of Contract Fraud Secret

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High Court rules surveillance legislation ‘unlawful’

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Israeli court says Arab village must make way for Jewish town

Palestinian minority fears decision will revive legislation to drive tens of thousands of Bedouin off their lands in Negev

Middle East Eye – 15 May 2015

Israel’s Palestinian minority is preparing to hold a “day of rage” to protest against a court ruling last week that cleared the way to destroy an entire Bedouin village so that it can be replaced by a Jewish town.

The Israeli Supreme Court’s decision marks the end of a 13-year legal battle by the 800 villagers of Umm al-Hiran in the Negev (Naqab) to prevent the establishment of the town on the site of their current homes.

The new town – also to be called Hiran – is expected to include 2,500 homes designated for ultra-nationalist religious groups closely identified with the settler movement.

Bedouin leaders and human rights groups criticised the judges for upholding what they termed “racist” government policies that gave weight solely to the housing needs of Israel’s Jewish population.

Fadi Masamra, director of the Regional Council of the Unrecognised Villages (RCUV), a body representing dozens of embattled Negev communities like Umm al-Hiran, said the village’s destruction would be viewed as a major assault on Bedouin rights.

“This is as clear a case of ethnic cleansing as one could imagine – and the courts have given their assent,” he told Middle East Eye. “The government is determined to clear us from as much of our land as possible and force us into ghettoes.”

Eviction for tens of thousands

There are widespread fears that the ruling will reopen the door to controversial legislation requiring the destruction of 36 Bedouin villages in the Negev the state has refused to recognise.

The Prawer Bill was put on hold by Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing government 17 months ago following mass protests by the Palestinian minority, which comprises a fifth of Israel’s population.

Tens of thousands of Bedouin face being uprooted and forcibly moved into a handful of government-planned towns in the Negev that are classed as the most deprived communities in the country.

The far-right Jewish Home party insisted on the legislation’s revival as a condition of its entry into the government coalition this month. One of its leaders, Uri Ariel, a settler in the occupied territories, was made minister in charge of Bedouin affairs.

In a sign of the increasing pressure being exerted on Bedouin communities in southern Israel, government officials demanded in a separate court case last week that dozens of families from another village, al-Araqib, be billed $500,000.

The sum is to cover the cost of repeatedly demolishing their homes. The villagers have resisted government efforts to evict them by rebuilding their homes more than 80 times over the past five years.

Dangerous precedent

Umm al-Hiran is one of 46 villages – home to some 100,000 Bedouin – that Israel has refused to recognise since the 1960s, leaving the inhabitants effectively criminalised.

While the Bedouin residents have Israeli citizenship, the state refuses to connect the villages to the water and power grids or provide access roads, health clinics and schools. All homes are under demolition order, forcing many villagers to live in tents or tin shacks.

The Supreme Court ruled last week that the residents of Umm al-Hiran had no right to their lands, even while Israeli authorities conceded that they had relocated the tribe to the dusty hills of the eastern Negev six decades ago. The villagers had been left landless in 1948 after the Israeli army destroyed their original homes.

Salim Abu Al-Kian, a 41-year-old resident of Umm al-Hiran who led the village’s struggle through the courts, told MEE: “We are being treated like criminals, even though we were placed here by the state. It seems our mistake is in not being Jewish.”

Maysanna Morany, a lawyer for Adalah, which represented Umm al-Hiran in court, said the judges had established a dangerous precedent by overlooking the social and political context of the case.

“The state did not try to argue, as it usually does, that there were important security or environmental reasons for destroying the village,” she said.

“The land will still be used for housing. But both the government and the court agreed that the residents of Umm al-Hiran should be evicted so that Jews can live in their place. That is clearly a racist policy, designed to promote the state’s Jewish character.”

‘Mark of Cain’

Bedouin leaders and the Follow-Up Committee, the main representative body of Israel’s 1.5 million Palestinian citizens, are due to meet in Umm al-Hiran on Sunday to formulate a response to the court decision.

The meeting will be held in the shadow of the 15 May commemorations of the anniversary of the Nakba – the Arabic world for “catastrophe” and a reference to the national disaster that befell the Palestinians in 1948 with the loss of their homeland.

Masamra of the RCUV said the court ruling was proof that the Nakba was not over.

The Palestinian leadership in Israel has grown increasingly concerned about severe land and housing shortages faced by the 1.5 million-strong Palestinian minority.

A one-day general strike was held last month following a new wave of house demolitions in Arab communities.

Ayman Odeh, leader of the Joint List, a broad coalition of Arab political parties that is the third largest faction in the Israeli parliament, has made the housing crisis and Israel’s treatment of the Bedouin his top priorities.

In late March he led a four-day protest march from the Negev to Jerusalem, presenting the Israeli President Reuven Rivlin with a proposal to make all the unrecognised villages legal.

Odeh called the failure to provide Bedouin children with water and electricity “a mark of Cain” on Israel.

Disastrous conditions

Israeli officials have been intensifying their campaign against the Bedouin since 2002, when planning authorities approved the founding of 14 Jewish communities in the Negev as part of efforts to strengthen what was termed “national resilience”.

The authorities have insisted that most of the Bedouin villagers relocate to half a dozen government-planned townships established decades ago.

Liad Aviel, a government spokesman for Bedouin affairs, told the Associated Press that the villagers of Umm al-Hiran had been offered housing a short distance away in Hura, east of Beersheva.

However, Ismael Abu Saad, an education professor at Ben Gurion University in the Negev, told MEE that all the townships lacked basic infrastructure and land for farming, and were at the bottom of the country’s social and economic tables.

“The quality of life in these towns is disastrous,” he said. “Poverty and unemployment are sky high, and services are almost non-existent.”

Despite the harsh living conditions in the unrecognised villages, and government pressure to move to the townships, only about half of the Negev’s 200,000 Bedouin have agreed to do so.

Emigration from townships

In recent years, Israeli authorities have grown increasingly concerned by the steady emigration of Bedouin from the townships back into the unrecognised villages, said Abu Saad.

“Any families who can return to their original villages are doing so,” he said.

“I have pointed out to the planning authorities repeatedly that if you want the Bedouin to stay in the towns, then you have to make it worthwhile to live there. Otherwise people will vote with their feet.”

Bedouin in the unrecognised villages argue that they should be allowed to continue their pastoral way of life as farmers and herders.

The villages are located either on land inhabited by the Bedouin for generations or on sites, as at Umm al-Hiran, to which they were moved after their expulsion from their original land following the 1948 war.

Israel rejects claims by the Bedouin to 800 sq km of the Negev – or about 5 per cent of the area – saying all of the Negev is state land.

Launching a fundraising campaign this week to help bring the Umm al-Hiran’s struggle to international attention, Adalah stated: “The court did not ask why the new town had to replace the Arab village, when there are vast and empty lands in the surrounding area.”

Morany said the court should have taken into account that state was expelling the villagers from their homes for a second time.

The judges had also ignored the decades of discriminatory government policies that had created major land shortages for all Arab communities, she added.

Land and housing shortages

Last month the Palestinian minority staged a one-day general strike to protest a renewed wave of home demolitions and a mounting housing crisis. Thousands took their protest to the streets of Tel Aviv.

At the same time, opposition from Jewish parties prevented Arab MPs from holding an emergency parliamentary session to discuss the housing problems faced by the minority.

A recent report by Adalah argued that housing shortages were “the result of deliberate, consistent, and systematic government policy”.

It noted that the 139 Arab communities recognised by the state had jurisdiction over only 2.5 per cent of Israeli territory after years of land confiscations. By contrast, 93 per cent of Israel was classified as state land, with much of it reserved only for the Jewish population.

Israel’s additional refusal to build a single new Arab community since 1948, and Jewish officials’ domination of the planning authorities, had led to an 11-fold increase in population density in Arab localities.

Further, the report observed, Arab communities had been overlooked in state-authorised construction projects. Of the 40,100 homes built last year, less than 5 per cent were in Arab towns or villages.

Worse, the report stated, a new four-year government programme to build affordable homes across the country did not include a single Arab locale.

Identifying with the settlements

In a dissenting opinion from her two colleagues in the Umm al-Hiran case, Supreme Court judge Daphne Barak-Erez proposed that the villagers be given the option to live in the new town of Hiran.

The Haaretz daily noted, however, that government efforts to reserve Hiran for the national-religious population – who identify closely with the settlement movement in the occupied territories – made that an impractical solution.

The first Jewish families due to move into Hiran are currently living in a temporary community they established in 2008 in nearby Yatir Forest in anticipation of Umm al-Hiran’s destruction. The 30 buildings were erected without permits.

Morany said that, contrary to their treatment of the unrecognised Bedouin villages, the authorities had turned a blind eye to the illegal status of the Jewish community. The homes there have been hooked up with water and electricity.

According to plaques on some of the homes, they have been donated by the Jewish National Fund USA, registered as a charity in the United States.

In a video posted by Adalah online, a spokesman for the Jewish group named Shmuel, who refused to be photographed, stated that he saw no difference between Israel and the occupied territories.

Morany said other videos showed that the families were sending their children to a school in a Jewish settlement a short distance away in the occupied territories.

Abu Al-Kian, of Umm al-Hiran, said the villagers would not give up. “We will continue fighting. We are not leaving even if they destroy every one of our homes.”

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Appeals Court Strikes Down Bulk NSA Phone Spying

Appeals Court Strikes Down Bulk NSA Phone Spying

by Stephen Lendman

On June 11, 2013, the ACLU challenged "the constitutionality of the National Security Agency's mass collection of Americans' phone records (ACLU v. Clapper)."

It argued that doing so violates Fourth and First Amendment rights, saying: 

"Because the NSA's aggregation of metadata constitutes an invasion of privacy and an unreasonable search, it is unconstitutional under the Fourth Amendment." 

"The call-tracking program also violates the First Amendment, because it vacuums up sensitive information about associational and expressive activity."

NSA claims authorization under the Patriot Act's Section 215 - the so-called "business records" provision.

It permits warrantless searches without probable cause. It violates fundamental First Amendment rights. It does so by mandating secrecy. 

It prohibits targeted subjects from telling others what's happening to them. It compromises free expression, assembly and association. 

It authorizes the FBI to investigate anyone based on what they say, write, or do with regard to groups they belong to or associate with.

It violates Fourth and Fifth Amendment protections by not telling targeted subjects their privacy was compromised. 

It subverts fundamental freedoms for contrived, exaggerated, or nonexistent security reasons.

At the time of its suit, the ACLU said "(w)hatever Section 215's 'relevance' requirement might allow, it does not permit the government to cast a seven-year dragnet sweeping up every phone call made or received by Americans."

The 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) authorized surveillance relating to "foreign intelligence information" between "foreign powers" and "agents of foreign powers." 

It restricts spying on US citizens and residents to those engaged in espionage in America and territory under US control. 

No longer. Today anything goes. America is a total surveillance society. Obama officials claim no authority can challenge them. Governing this way is called tyranny.

The US Second Circuit Court of Appeals agreed. It held Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act doesn't permit bulk collection of Americans' phone records. A three-judge panel ruled unanimously - overturning a lower court decision.

The Obama administration argued that the ACLU lacked "standing" to challenge NSA surveillance practices, and Congress "precluded" judicial review except by the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court most often only hearing government arguments.

The appeals court rejected this reasoning, saying:

"If the government is correct, it could use Section 215 to collect and store in bulk any other existing metadata available anywhere in the private sector, including metadata associated with financial records, medical records, and electronic communications (including e‐mail and social media information) relating to all Americans." 

"Such expansive development of government repositories of formerly private records would be an unprecedented contraction of the privacy expectations of all Americans."

ACLU staff attorney Alex Abdo called the ruling "a resounding victory for the rule of law."

"For years, the government secretly spied on millions of innocent Americans based on a shockingly broad interpretation of its authority." 

"The court rightly rejected the government’s theory that it may stockpile information on all of us in case that information proves useful in the future." 

"Mass surveillance does not make us any safer, and it is fundamentally incompatible with the privacy necessary in a free society."

ACLU deputy legal director/lead counsel in the case Jameel Jaffer explained:

"This ruling focuses on the phone-records program, but it has far broader significance, because the same defective legal theory that underlies this program underlies many of the government’s other mass-surveillance programs." 

"The ruling warrants a reconsideration of all of those programs, and it underscores once again the need for truly systemic reform."

Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) executive director Cindy Cohn called the ruling "a great and welcome decision and ought to make Congress pause to consider whether the small changes contained in the USA Freedom Act are enough."  

''The 2nd Circuit rejected on multiple grounds the government's radical reinterpretation of Section 215 that underpinned its secret shift to mass seizure and search of Americans' telephone records.''

“While the court did not reach the constitutional issues, it certainly noted the serious problems with blindly embracing the third-party doctrine - the claim that you lose all constitutional privacy protections whenever a third-party, like your phone company, has sensitive information about your actions."

EFF's legislative analyst Mark Jaycox added:

"Now that a court of appeal has rejected the government's arguments supporting its secret shift to mass surveillance, we look forward to other courts - including the Ninth Circuit in EFF's Smith v. Obama case - rejecting mass surveillance as well." 

"With the deadline to reauthorize section 215 looming, we also call on Congress to both expressly adopt the interpretation of the law given by the court and to take further steps to rein in the NSA and reform the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court."

One court victory doesn't mean overall triumph. The right-wing Supreme Court may have final say - or Congress able to legislatively circumvent High Court or other judicial rulings with no administration opposition by either party.

US governance serves powerful entrenched interests at the expense of popular ones. It's fundamentally anti-democratic, anti-freedom. 

Odds strongly favor no change in business as usual. Sacrificing precious liberties for greater security assures losing both.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.


It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Appeals court rules NSA bulk data collection illegal

A federal appeals court ruled the National Security Agency’s controversial mass collection of Americans’ phone records is illegal.

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals said in a 97-page opinion Thursday that the laws used to justify the bulk data collection program “have never been interpreted to authorize anything approaching the breadth of the sweeping surveillance at issue here.”

The ruling by the three-judge panel in New York comes as Section 215 of the Patriot Act, which has been used as a basis for the NSA’s data collection, is due to expire next month and members of Congress are debating whether to renew the law, modify it, or let it die.

The court’s decision was in response to a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) arguing the data collection program violates privacy rights of Americans.

A lower court judge had ruled the program was constitutional and the ACLU appealed that ruling.

The appeals court, however, did not say whether the NSA’s program violates the privacy rights of Americans because it was never properly authorized by existing law.

The judges also did not order the bulk data collection to stop.

In June 2013, Edward Snowden, a former NSA contractor, began leaking classified intelligence documents showing the extent of the NSA’s spying activities.

According to the documents, the agency has been collecting phone records of millions of Americans as well as foreign nationals and political leaders around the world.

US civil liberties advocates argue that the collected phone records could give intelligence agencies a road map to Americans' private activities.

HRJ/HRJ

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