The reporter’s privilege and South Dakota

Now that Judge Vince Foley has recognized a Republican blogger as a journalist in the “robocall” criminal trial , there’s plenty in the news and the blogosphere about South Dakota not having “shield laws.” Such laws protect journalists from unilaterally being required to divulge their confidential sources. While South Dakota has no such law, the […]

Yes, people, the Constitution protects wackos too

Although it tends to be overused and misattributed, the summary of Voltaire’s thoughts on free speech — “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it” — epitomizes my views of the First Amendment. More important, that view was reinforced by the U.S. Supreme Court today […]

Maybe this justifies the cost of an e-reader

Some may recall that retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Souter bought a new home when he retired because the farmhouse he lived in wasn’t structurally strong enough to hold the thousands of books he owned. One of his former law clerks took steps to perhaps stop the problem from recurring.

According to annual financial […]

Is violence the legal equivalent of obscenity?

Whether violence is a functional equivalent of obscenity may be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. Yesterday, the Court agreed to rule on the constitutionality of a California law banning the sale or rental of violent video games to minors, a law predicated in part on the Court’s obscenity jurisprudence.

The California statute defines a […]

Exposing the myth of so-called activist judges

There’s been tons of commentary on Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, in which the Supreme Court said the government can’t restrict corporations from spending money to support or oppose individual candidates in elections. Yet there’s been meager discussion on one issue the decision raises — judicial activism.

For years we’ve heard the GOP rallying […]