All fields in the table
|Case Title||Link to Ruling||Country/Jurisdiction||State or Province||Regulatory Bodies||Decided||Arbitrator||Related Laws||Short Summary||Background||Decision|
|Al-Haramain v. Obama||Al-Haramain v. Obama||United States||true||U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California||Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978||In Al–Haramain I, Al–Haramain Islamic Foundation and two of its lawyers (collectively “Al–Haramain”) “claimed that they were subject to warrantless electronic surveillance in 2004 in violation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.”||Without the Sealed Document, the Al–Haramain organization could not establish that it suffered injury-in-fact, and therefore did not have standing to bring suit. The issue is whether “FISA preempts the common law state secrets privilege.”
The district court held that “FISA preempts or displaces the state secrets privilege in cases within the reach of its provisions.”
The court acknowledged that “it is, of course true that section 1810 does not contain a waiver of sovereign immunity analogous to that in 18 U .S.C. section 2712(a) which expressly provides that the aggrieved persons may sue the United States for unlawful surveillance․” However, because “it is only such federal officers and employees acting in their official capacities that would engage in surveillance of the type contemplated by FISA,” the court feared that FISA would offer “scant, if any, relief” in the absence of a waiver. Id. Thus, it held that a waiver was “implicit in the remedy” under § 1810.
The district court dismissed the complaint with leave to amend the FISA claims, and Al–Haramain filed an amended complaint. The district court then concluded that "without a doubt” the amended complaint “alleged enough to plead ‘aggrieved person’ status so as to proceed to the next step in proceedings under FISA's sections 1806(f) and 1810.”. Moving to the merits, in its next ruling, “the court directed plaintiffs to move for summary judgment on their FISA claim relying only on non-classified evidence.”. Al–Haramain did, and the government filed a cross-motion to dismiss and for summary judgment. The court denied the government's motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction, rejecting the argument that Al–Haramain lacked standing because the program under which it was surveilled had been terminated, and once again holding that § 1810 waived the United States' sovereign immunity.
On the merits, the district court granted summary judgment in favor of Al–Haramain with respect to governmental liability under FISA. Al–Haramain then accepted the court's invitation to voluntarily dismiss the remaining claims “in order to take the steps necessary for the entry of judgment on the FISA claim.” The district court also dismissed claims against FBI Director Robert Mueller in his individual capacity.
In a follow-up order on remedies, the court first denied damages to the Al–Haramain organization because it was a “foreign power or an agent of a foreign power” under FISA's broad definition of that term, and therefore ineligible to recover damages under 50 U.S.C. § 1810. Furthermore, the district court denied punitive damages and equitable relief.
This case effectively brings to an end the plaintiffs' ongoing attempts to hold the Executive Branch responsible for intercepting telephone conversations without judicial authorization. However, we cannot let that occur without comment on the government's recent, unfortunate argument that the plaintiffs have somehow engaged in “game-playing.”
In early 2004, the Treasury Department announced an investigation of Al–Haramain Islamic Foundation, Inc. Then in late 2004, for the first time publicly alleged links to terrorism involving Al–Haramain. Also in 2004, the plaintiffs received a copy of a document from the Office of Foreign Assets Control (the “Sealed Document”), which may or may not have suggested certain of the plaintiffs or their lawyers had been electronically surveilled. In 2005, a New York Times article revealed that the National Security Agency “had obtained the cooperation of telecommunications companies to tap into a significant portion of the companies' telephone and e-mail traffic, both domestic and international.”1 Based on some or all of the above, the plaintiffs thought that they had been unlawfully surveilled, and in 2006 they filed suit.
Over the last six years, the plaintiffs have faced a moving and shrinking target. In 2008, Congress narrowed the list of potential defendants by granting telecommunications providers retroactive immunity. (describing 2008 amendments to FISA). Meanwhile, the evidentiary arsenal at the plaintiffs' disposal has been constantly in flux. On one hand, the Sealed Document was excluded, pending a determination whether the FISA preempted the State Secrets privilege in the telecommunications field. On the other, the public evidence favorable to the plaintiffs grew to include the FBI admitting to having used surveillance in connection with its investigation of Al–Haramain, the Treasury Department acknowledging it intercepted 2003 telephone conversations involving an Al–Haramain member, and top Executive Branch officials testifying before Congress that most modern international communications are wired.In light of the complex, ever-evolving nature of this litigation, and considering the significant infringement on individual liberties that would occur if the Executive Branch were to disregard congressionally-mandated procedures for obtaining judicial authorization of international wiretaps, the charge of “game-playing” lobbed by the government is as careless as it is inaccurate. Throughout, the plaintiffs have proposed ways of advancing their lawsuit without jeopardizing national security, ultimately going so far as to disclaim any reliance whatsoever on the Sealed Document. That their suit has ultimately failed does not in any way call into question the integrity with which they pursued it.
|On the merits, the district court granted summary judgment in favor of Al–Haramain with respect to governmental liability under FISA. Al–Haramain then accepted the court's invitation to voluntarily dismiss the remaining claims “in order to take the steps necessary for the entry of judgment on the FISA claim.” The district court also dismissed claims against FBI Director Robert Mueller in his individual capacity.|
|American Civil Liberties Union v. Miller||American Civil Liberties Union v. Miller||United States||true||United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia||Constitution - Amendment I||ACLU v. Zell Miller was a court case in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia in 1997 between the ACLU, along with other parties, and then Georgia governor, Zell Miller. This case established the right to privacy of internet users and guaranteed the protection of basic rights while on the internet. It was established that the government does not have oversight or authority over the internet and thus cannot necessarily make mandates for it.||The Georgia General Assembly passed legislation that eliminated rights to privacy when using the internet in the State of Georgia. Plaintiffs, ACLU, bring this action for declaratory and injunctive relief challenging the constitutionality of Act No. 1029, Ga. Laws 1996, p. 1505, codified at O.C.G.A. § 16-9-93.1.
The plaintiffs reminded the court that no one owns the internet, since it is a decentralized medium of communication between several parties and persons around the world. To impose this regulation would therefore be overstepping the scope of Georgia law, since the state did not have authority over the entity of the internet.The parties vigorously dispute the scope of the act. Plaintiffs, a group of individuals and organization members who communicate over the internet, interpret it as imposing unconstitutional content-based restrictions on their right to communicate anonymously and pseudonymously over the internet, as well as on their right to use trade names, logos, and other graphics in a manner held to be constitutional in other contexts.
Defendants contend that the act prohibits a much narrower class of communications. They interpret it as forbidding only fraudulent transmissions or the appropriation of the identity of another person or entity for some improper purpose.
In addition, the forceful public disclosure of internet users was said to violate basic civil liberties to privacy and would be revealing sensitive information of users who did not wish to make their identities public. The plaintiffs challenged the constitutionality to this act in its entirety. The defendant sought dismissal but was denied this motion.After the plaintiff could prove likelihood of success of merits, substantial threat of irreparable injury, balance of hardships, and the promotion of the public interest, the court awarded the plaintiff with a preliminary injunction. Thus, the defendant was enjoined from enforcing the newly passed act and was forced to revoke it.
|Act No. 1029, Ga. Laws 1996 was found to be unconstitutional and in violation of the Bill of Rights.|
|Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood of Northern New England||Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, 546 U.S. 320 (2006)||United States||true||Supreme Court of the United States||New Hampshire Parental Notification Prior to Abortion Act|
Parental Notification Act
|Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, 546 U.S. 320 (2006), was a decision by the Supreme Court of the United States involving a facial challenge to New Hampshire's parental notification abortion law. The First Circuit had ruled that the law was unconstitutional and an injunction against its enforcement was proper. The Supreme Court vacated this judgment and remanded the case, but avoided a substantive ruling on the challenged law or a reconsideration of prior Supreme Court abortion precedent.||In this case, the issue is whether Planned Parenthood of Northern New England may challenge the constitutionality of the Parental Notification Prior to Abortion Act in federal court before it is put into effect and the Parental Notification Prior to Abortion Act, through the judicial bypass procedure or other safeguards, adequately protects the health of minors seeking abortions.
After New Hampshire's state legislature approved the Parental Notification Prior to Abortion Act but before the act went into effect, Planned Parenthood of Northern New England challenged the law in federal district court. They claimed that the law, which requires that parents be notified before their minor daughter has an abortion, violated the "undue burden" test laid out in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, a 1992 Supreme Court decision that reformulated the constitutional protections given to abortion in Roe v. Wade. Specifically, they argued that an exemption in the law for abortions necessary to prevent the death of the mother, but not for those abortions necessary to protect merely her health, was unconstitutionally narrow.The federal district court agreed, rejecting the argument of New Hampshire's Attorney General that the judicial bypass procedure included in the law, in which a judge could approve an abortion without parental notification for a minor who showed she was mature enough to make the decision on her own, could be used to permit abortions necessary to protect the health of the mother. The judge also rejected New Hampshire's argument that the law could not be challenged until it had actually been implemented. A First Circuit Court of Appeals panel unanimously affirmed the decision.
|In June, 2003, the New Hampshire Parental Notification Prior to Abortion Act, "an act requiring parental notification before abortions may be performed on unemancipated minors," was narrowly passed by the New Hampshire General Court. It was signed into law on June 19, 2003 by Governor Craig Benson, who had lobbied heavily for the law, with an effective date of December 31, 2003.
In its ruling the Court found that the following three propositions were established:
1."States have the right to require parental involvement when a minor considers terminating her pregnancy."
2."A State may not restrict access to abortions that are 'necessary, in appropriate medical judgment for preservation of the life or health of the mother.' Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. v. Casey, 505 U. S. 833, 879 (plurality opinion)."3."New Hampshire has not taken issue with the case’s factual basis: In a very small percentage of cases, pregnant minors need immediate abortions to avert serious and often irreversible damage to their health. New Hampshire has conceded that, under this Court’s cases, it would be unconstitutional to apply the Act in a manner that subjects minors to significant health risks."
|Bellotti v. Baird||Bellotti v. Baird, 443 U.S. 622 (1979)||United States||true||US Supreme Court||Constitution - Amendment XIV||Before the held case in 1979, the Massachusetts District Court first heard Bellotti v. Baird in 1974, and in July 1976 the case went to the US Supreme Court. Bellotti v. Baird, 428 U.S. 132 (1976). It was a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court upheld a Massachusetts law requiring parental consent to a minor's abortion, under the provision that "if one or both of the minor's parents refusion consent, consent may be obtained by order of a judge... for good cause shown."United States Supreme Court case that ruled 8-1 that teenagers do not have to secure parental consent to obtain an abortion.||A Massachusetts law required minors to gain parental consent before having an abortion. However, if either or both of the parents refused, a judge of the superior court could allow a minor to have the procedure "for good cause shown." In Bellotti, the issue was whether the law unconstitutionally did restrict the right of a minor to have an abortion.
Balliro presented an argument on behalf of Baird. Balliro argued that the Massachusetts law was unconstitutional because it effectively prevented minors from obtaining abortions. Balliro argued that the law imposed unconstitutional burdens on the right to have an abortion. The first burden, Balliro argued, was that the minor had to obtain the consent of two parents. The law had provisions for circumstances where there was a single parent due to death or desertion, but the law made no exception for other extenuating circumstances, like in the case of Moe. In Bellotti v. Baird, Moe was pregnant and seeking an abortion at the time of the initial court proceedings and did not want to tell her parents about her pregnancy because her parents had hostile views about abortion and her father had threatened to kill her boyfriend if she became pregnant. Under the Massachusetts law, parents could deny their consent to an abortion arbitrarily, which meant that even if a physician considered the abortion medically necessary, one or both parents could refuse their consent and prevent the minor from obtaining an abortion.
The second burden, Balliro argued, was what Balliro termed judicial override. A judge could override the parents and grant the minor consent for an abortion once the judge determined the minor was mature enough to make that decision. However, the judge also had the power to decline a minor’s request for an abortion even if the judge had determined that the minor was mature enough to make the decision on her own. Balliro argued that the law allowed judges to potentially deny a minor an abortion without cause, which was unconstitutional.
Baird’s other attorney, Henn, provided arguments for Baird as well. Henn based his arguments on the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the US Constitution. The equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment grants all citizens equal protection under the law and ensures that laws treat citizens impartially. Henn argued that the Massachusetts law was unconstitutional because it treated minors seeking an abortion more strictly than minors seeking any other medical procedure. According to Henn, that violated the Fourteenth Amendment because it created an arbitrary distinction between minors seeking medical procedures and minors seeking abortions. Minors seeking other medical procedures, such as limb amputation, needed the consent of only one parent, whereas the Massachusetts law required a minor seeking an abortion to obtain the consent of both her parents.
Supreme Court judge White filed a dissenting opinion that disagreed with the majority opinion. He argued that it was in the best interests of a minor for her parents to participate in the decision to terminate the pregnancy, and that a minor’s parents should be notified if the minor seeks permission for an abortion by going before a judge.The Supreme Court’s ruling on Bellotti v. Baird affirmed that a woman’s right to an abortion was not contingent upon her age, and that the rights guaranteed by the US Constitution applied to adults as well as minors. The Court’s decision in Bellotti v. Baird became a precedent, meaning that future laws could not restrict the right of minors by requiring parental or judicial consent for an abortion. The ruling affirmed that a woman’s choice to have an abortion or to carry a pregnancy to term, whether she was a minor or an adult, was a personal decision that could not be subjected to the veto of a third party, in this case that of her parents or a judge.
|The Court found the statute unconstitutional for two reasons. First, it allowed judicial authorization for an abortion to be withheld from a minor who is mature and competent enough to make the decision independently. Second, it required parental notification in all cases (parents were required to be notified if their daughter initiated proceedings in superior court) without allowing the minor to seek an independent judicial assessment of her competence to decide the abortion issue.|
|Berger v. New York||Ralph Berger v. State of New York, 388 U.S. 41 (1967)||United States||true||US Supreme Court||Constitution - Amendment XIV|
Constitution - Amendment IV
N.Y. Crim. Proc. Code § 813-a.
|Berger v. New York addressed questions pertaining to the Fourth Amendment. This decision overruled the precedent set by Olmstead v. United States. This precedent established in 1928 held that a wiretap was not included in the protections of the Fourth Amendment because there was no seizure of a tangible object. Berger addressed this question many decades later when wiretapping was common and new technologies were being introduced. Rule: Under the Fourth Amendment warrants may only 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. Probable cause under the Fourth Amendment exists where the facts and circumstances within the affiant's knowledge, and of which he has reasonably trustworthy information, are sufficient unto themselves to warrant a man of reasonable caution to believe that an offense has been or is being committed.||A New York state law authorized judges to grant warrants for eavesdropping via wiretap if there was reasonable ground to believe that the eavesdropping would uncover evidence of a crime. The state law required an oath of a district attorney, attorney general, or high-ranking police officer that such reasonable grounds existed for the eavesdropping. The oath was required to state at whom the eavesdropping was directed, the telephone number involved, and the duration of the eavesdropping, which could not be longer than two months. The State of New York (plaintiff) brought a claim against Ralph Berger (defendant) for bribery after wiretapping a conversation between Berger and a third party. Berger challenged the constitutionality of the statute, arguing that it violated the Fourth Amendment. The trial court held the statute was valid and the appellate court affirmed. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.||United States Supreme Court decision invalidating a New York law under the Fourth Amendment, because the statute authorized electronic eavesdropping without required procedural safeguards.|
|Bourke v. Nissan Motor Co.||Bonita P. Bourke et al., v. Nissan Motor Corporation in U.S.A.||United States||false||Court of Appeal||Penal Code Section 631|
Penal Code Section 632
|Rule: The court ruled that the employer had a right to monitor an employee's email and to terminate employees for sending email of a personal, sexual nature. California's Wiretap and privacy laws did not protect employees from employer monitoring. The Court of Appeal designated this opinion "Not to be published" and it was not reported in the typical opinion reporters.||Bonita Bourke and Rhonda Hall were hired by Nissan in June 1989, as Information Systems Specialists at an Infiniti car dealership, serving as customer service representatives for users of the internal computer system.
In June 1990, a co-worker of plaintiffs, Lori Eaton, during a demonstration of the use of E-mail at a training session, randomly selected a message sent by Bourke to an employee of the dealership. Unfortunately, the E-mail contained non-business-related content of a highly personal, sexual nature. This incident was reported to management and many other messages containing personal content involving Bourke and her colleague Hall were later discovered. Following this, written warnings were issued to plaintiffs for violating the company policy prohibiting the use of the company computer system for personal purposes.
During the annual performance review in October 1990, both plaintiffs had received rather low performance ratings (Bourke was rated “needs improvement,” and Hall was rated “unsatisfactory,” second lowest and lowest of six performance level, respectively).
On December 28, 1990, plaintiffs filed grievances with Nissan's human resources department, complaining that the company had invaded their privacy by retrieving and reading their email messages. A few days later, on January 2, 1991, Bourke was given a final warning notice requiring her to improve her performance, while Hall's employment was terminated. Based upon Nissan's actions in reviewing their email messages as described above, plaintiffs sued Nissan for common law invasion of privacy, violation of their constitutional right to privacy, and violation of California's criminal wiretapping and eavesdropping statutes. They also brought a cause of action for wrongful discharge in violation of public policy (termination in retaliation for the filing of complaints objecting to Nissan's invasion of their privacy).
The court found that the employees had no reasonable expectation of privacy, citing the following undisputed facts: (1) Plaintiffs each signed a Computer User Registration Form, which states that "It is company policy that employees and contractors restrict their use of company-owned computer hardware and software to company business." (2) The two had been aware for months that E-mail messages were, from time to time, read by individuals other than the intended recipient. (3) In June 1990, a full six months before Bourke's termination, fellow employee, Lori Eaton, had contacted Bourke to complain about the personal, sexual nature of Bourke's E-mail message which Eaton had retrieved for demonstration purposes during a training session at an Infiniti dealership.
The court found that the statute of Penal Code Section 631 does not apply to the facts of this case, since plaintiffs cited no authority to support their contention that section 631 covers the retrieval, printing and reading of email messages which is not authorized by the author of the message.The court found that section 632 (which prohibits the eavesdropping or recording of a "confidential communication by means of any electronic amplifying or recording device"), does not apply in this case.The court argued that a claim for wrongful termination in violation of public policy necessarily requires a violation of public policy; however, as concluded in section I., Nissan's actions in reviewing plaintiffs' E-mail messages did not violate their constitutional right to privacy. Therefore, the Court held that plaintiffs had failed to state a claim for wrongful termination in violation of public policy.
|Bourke v. Nissan Motor Corp., No. B068705 (Cal. Ct. App., July 26, 1993) the Second Appellate District Court of the California Courts of Appeal upheld the original decision of the trial court in favor of the defendant, Nissan Motor Corporation, against the charges of the plaintiffs, who alleged wrongful termination, invasion of privacy, and violation of their constitutional right to privacy, under the California constitution, in connection with Nissan's retrieval, printing, and reading of E-mail messages authored by plaintiffs.|
|Bowers v. Hardwick||Bowers v. Hardwick, 478 U.S. 186 (1986)||United States||Georgia||true||US Supreme Court||Constitution - Amendment XIV||Bowers v. Hardwick, 478 U.S. 186 (1986) was a landmark decision of the US Supreme Court that upheld, in a 5–4 ruling, the constitutionality of a Georgia sodomy law criminalizing oral and anal sex in private between consenting adults, in this case with respect to homosexual sodomy, though the law did not differentiate between homosexual sodomy and heterosexual sodomy. This case was overturned in 2003 in Lawrence v. Texas, though the statute had already been struck down by the Supreme Court of Georgia in 1998.||The case issue was the Constitution confers a fundamental right upon homosexuals to engage in consensual sodomy, thereby invalidating the laws of many states which make such conduct illegal. In Bowers, Michael Hardwick was observed by a Georgia police officer while engaging in the act of consensual homosexual sodomy with another adult in the bedroom of his home. After being charged with violating a Georgia statute that criminalized sodomy, Hardwick challenged the statute's constitutionality in Federal District Court. Following a ruling that Hardwick failed to state a claim, the court dismissed. On appeal, the Court of Appeals reversed and remanded, holding that Georgia's statute was unconstitutional. Georgia's Attorney General, Michael J. Bowers, appealed to the Supreme Court and was granted certiorari.||Bowers v. Hardwick, a decision largely contemptuous of homosexual behavior, was a serious legal blow to the gay community. This legal set-back, however, was not long lived. In the 2003 case Lawrence v. Texas, the Court declared a Texas antisodomy statute unconstitutional, ruling that homosexual sodomy is part of the fundamental right of adults to engage in private sexual activity.|
|Bray v. Alexandria Women's Health Clinic||Bray v. Alexandria Women's Health Clinic, 506 U.S. 263 (1993)||United States||true||US Supreme Court||Constitution - Amendment I|
42 U. S. C. § 1985
Civil Rights Act of 1871
|In Bray v. Alexandria Women’s Health Clinic, 506 U.S. 263 (1993), the Supreme Court ruled that abortion protesters’ actions did not constitute a conspiracy against a protected class and therefore did not violate the Civil Rights Act of 1871. Although Bray is generally considered an abortion/women’s rights case, it sits at the intersection of the First Amendment rights of political assembly and protest and the right to obtain an abortion under Roe v. Wade (1973).||Bray v. Alexandria Women's Health Clinic, 506 U.S. 263 (1993), was a United States Supreme Court case in which the court held that 42 U.S.C. 1985(3) does not provide a federal cause of action against persons obstructing access to abortion clinics. Several abortion clinics (most known was the Alexandria Health Clinic) sued to prevent Jayne Bray and other anti-abortion protesters from voicing their freedom of speech in front of the clinics in Washington D.C. Alexandria Women's Health Clinic claimed that the protesters violated 42 U.S.C. 1985(3), which prohibits two or more people on a highway or another's premises from depriving “any person or class of persons of the equal protection of the laws, or of equal privileges and immunities under the laws.”||The District Court ruled in favor of the Alexandria Women's Health Clinic because they said protesters had sought out to reject women's right to abortion. After revisiting the case, the Supreme Court came to a unanimous decision, stating that Bray and others blocked access to the clinics, therefore depriving women seeking abortions the right to interstate travel. The District Court also ruled on state law trespassing and public nuisance claims, ordering the offenders to stop trespassing on or obstructing access to clinics. Finally, the District Court ordered the protesters to pay the clinics’ attorney's fees and costs on the 1985(3) claim.|
|Brown v. Buhman||Brown v. Buhman - 822 F.3d 1151 (10th Cir. 2016)||United States||true||United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit||The issue was whether the case was properly dismissed as moot. The United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit ruled that a plaintiff's standing at the time of filing does not ensure the court will ultimately be able to decide the case on the merits. An actual controversy must be extant at all stages of review, not merely at the time the complaint is filed. If an intervening circumstance deprives the plaintiff of a personal stake in the outcome of the lawsuit, at any point during litigation, the action can no longer proceed and must be dismissed as moot. Mootness deprives federal courts of jurisdiction. If a case is moot, courts have no subject-matter jurisdiction. Constitutional mootness is jurisdictional; prudential mootness is discretionary.||Kody Brown, Meri Brown, Janelle Brown, Christine Brown, and Robyn Sullivan (Browns) form a "plural family." Kody Brown was legally married to Meri Brown and "spiritually married" to the other three women, whom he calls "sister wives." When the family became the subject of a TLC reality television show in 2010, the Lehi Police Department opened an investigation of the Browns for violating Utah's bigamy statute, which provided that a person is guilty of bigamy when, knowing he or she has a spouse or knowing the other person has a spouse, the person purports to marry another person or cohabits with another person. The Browns then filed a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action in federal district court against the Governor and Attorney General of the State of Utah and the Utah County Attorney. Claiming that Utah's bigamy statute infringed their First and Fourteenth Amendment rights, the Browns sought declaratory relief and a permanent injunction enjoining enforcement of the statute against them. The district court dismissed the Governor and Attorney General. The Utah County Attorney's Office (UCAO) subsequently closed its file on the Browns and adopted a policy (UCAO Policy) under which the Utah County Attorney could bring bigamy prosecutions only against those who induce a partner to marry through misrepresentation or are suspected of committing a collateral crime such as fraud or abuse. The Browns did not fall into either category. Notwithstanding the adoption of the UCAO Policy, the district court denied the Utah County Attorney's motion to dismiss the case as moot, and instead, granted summary judgment to the Browns.||The Court held that the case became moot when the county attorney announced a policy that it would prosecute the crime of bigamy only if a victim was induced to marry through fraud or when there was also some type of abuse, violence, or fraud. According to the Court, the policy eliminated any credible threat that the Browns would be prosecuted, and thus, the threat of a prosecution was so speculative that a live controversy no longer existed for U.S. Const. art. III jurisdiction.|
|Burton v. Florida||Samantha BURTON, Appellant, v. STATE of Florida, Appellee. No. 1D09-1958.||United States||true||Constitution - Amendment VI||Burton v. Florida, Samantha Burton, a mother of two, was twenty-five weeks pregnant in March 2009 when she experienced a premature rupture of membranes and displayed signs of premature labor. At the urging of her obstetrician, she sought care at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital. She found not to be in labor, but ordered to remain on bed rest.||Dubreuil proceedings (state legal proceedings used to compel a pregnant woman to undergo medical confinement, treatment, and procedures against her wishes for the benefit of the unborn fetus) were initiated against Burton on a finding that she had ignored her physician’s recommendations, creating a high-risk pregnancy that may result in the death of her baby. A Florida circuit court ordered Burton to forced medial treatment and confinement in a hospital until delivery. Holding that such a determination was inappropriate, the Court reasoned that all individuals have a fundamental right to privacy. The Court explained that Dubreuil proceedings were insufficient to compel a pregnant woman to forcibly undergo medical detention and treatment for the benefit of her unborn child. To overcome Burton’s right to refuse medical intervention in her pregnancy, the State must show a compelling interest and a method for pursuing that interest that is narrowly tailored. The State had failed to do so. David H. Abrams, a nurse attorney, appealed the Leon County Circuit Court ruling and the Florida chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union joined as Amicus. On August 12, 2010, the Florida Circuit Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit issued its ruling, written by Nikki Clark, in favor of Burton and against the State. The Court rejected the State of Florida's argument that the best interest of the child standard applied. The Court ruled that Ms. Burton had fundamental rights to privacy and liberty under the Florida Constitution and that those rights were subject to strict scrutiny review. While the Court did not hold that the State could never intervene in a woman's pregnancy it limited such intervention to instances where fetal viability was proven by the state and rejected the argument that viability is set by gestational age of the fetus. The Court further held that once the State had proven viability it must then show that the proposed intervention is the least intrusive and least restrictive means possible of protecting the State's interest in the fetus.||Holding that such a determination was inappropriate, the Court reasoned that all individuals have a fundamental right to privacy.|
|Carrick v. Snyder||Carrick v. Snyder||United States||Michigan||false||Eastern District of Michigan, Southern Division||Constitution - Amendment I|
Mich. Stat. § 551.14
|On January 12, 2015, plaintiff Neil Carrick, then pro se, filed suit against defendants Governor Rick Snyder and Attorney General Bill Schuette of Michigan, claiming that Michigan's statutes providing for civil and criminal penalties against religious officials who "solemnize" marriages not permitted under Michigan law, including same-sex and plural marriages, violate his rights under the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America.On December 8, 2015, the Court requested supplemental briefing from the parties regarding the following issue: whether "Michigan's laws permitting civil and criminal sanctions of persons who improperly solemnize marriages authorize the state to impose those sanctions when the ceremony is purely private in nature, and not intended to have legal effect."||Plaintiff states that he is an ordained minister pastoring a new and developing congregation in Wayne County, Michigan. (Dkt. 1 at 4.) He alleges that Michigan's marriage laws, namely M.C.L. § 551.106 (imposing civil and criminal penalties) and § 551.14 (imposing civil penalties) violate his First Amendment rights of free exercise of religion and freedom of association. (Id. at 7-9.) They do so, he argues, because he could face civil and criminal penalties for performing private religious marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples and plural relationships of more than two people, even if those people are not seeking to have their marriage officially recognized by the state of Michigan via a marriage license. He further argues that he could also face these penalties if he performed a purely private religious ceremony for a man and woman seeking to be "married" without state sanction because one might lose public benefits or face some other undesired consequence if he or she were legally married. Plaintiff does not allege in his complaint that he has sought or is seeking to perform any marriage ceremony in violation of either of the Michigan statutes he challenges. He also does not allege that defendants have enforced or threatened to enforce any civil or criminal sanctions against him or anyone he is aware of related to these statutes or any others. Defendants have filed a motion to dismiss pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(1) and (6) (Dkt. 15), arguing that plaintiff's claims related to same-sex marriages are moot, that plaintiff lacks standing to bring his claims, and that he has failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.||The case was dismissed with prejudice on February 10, 2016, for lack of standing.|
|City of Akron v. Akron Center for Reproductive Health||City of Akron v. Akron Center for Reproductive Health, 462 U.S. 416 (1983)||United States||Ohio||true||US Supreme Court||Constitution - Amendment XIV||City of Akron v. Akron Center for Reproductive Health, 462 U.S. 416 (1983), the United States Supreme Court affirmed its abortion-rights jurisprudence. In an opinion by Justice Powell, the Court struck down several provisions of an Ohio abortion law, including portions found to be unconstitutionally vague.||In City of Akron, the issue was whether several provisions of the Akron ordinance violated a woman's right to an abortion as guaranteed by the Court's decision in Roe v. Wade and the right-to-privacy doctrine as implied by the Fourteenth Amendment. In 1978 the Akron City Council enacted an ordinance which established seventeen provisions to regulate the performance of abortions. Among other things, the ordinance required: all abortions performed after the first trimester to be done in hospitals, parental consent before the procedure could be performed on an unmarried minor, doctors to counsel prospective patients, a twenty-four hour waiting period, and that fetal remains be disposed of in a "humane and sanitary manner." Some of the ordinance's provisions were invalidated by a federal district court.
The Court found that to be unconstitutional. The state has a compelling interest in regulating abortion after the first trimester, but accepted medical practice does not recommend for all second-trimester abortions to be performed in a hospital. The regulation imposed an unnecessary burden that has the effect of infringing upon the constitutional right to an abortion.
Another provision stated that a physician may not perform an abortion on an unmarried minor under 15 without obtaining either consent from one of her parents or a judicial bypass. The Court likewise struck down the provision, as the law and the Ohio courts provided no suitable mechanism for a minor to gain a judicial bypass, as the relevant laws and courts concerning juveniles did not mention abortion or establish the authority to determine the maturity or emancipation of a minor.The statute also stated that before performing an abortion, the physician must inform the patient of the status of the pregnancy, stage of fetal development, expected date of viability, health risks of abortion, and the availability of adoption agencies and childbirth resources. The Court found the provision to be unconstitutional, as the script, ostensibly provided to ensure informed consent, was found to be geared towards influencing the patient to decide against an abortion.
|The Court affirmed its commitment to protecting a woman's reproductive rights by invalidating the provisions of Akron's ordinance. Generally, Justice Powell's opinion reiterates the Court's findings in Roe and reasons that certain provisions of the ordinance violated the Constitution because they were clearly intended to direct women away from choosing the abortion option. They were not implemented out of medical necessities. The fetal disposal clause was struck down because its language was too vague to determine conduct subject to criminal prosecution.|
|Clapper v. Amnesty International USA||Clapper v. Amnesty International, 568 U.S. 398 (2013)||United States||true||US Supreme Court||Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978|
Constitution - Amendment I
Constitution - Amendment III
Constitution - Amendment IV
FISA Amendments Act of 2008
|Clapper v. Amnesty International, 568 U.S. 398 (2013) is a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court held that Amnesty International USA and others lacked standing to challenge 50 U.S.C. § 1881a (also known as Section 702) of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act as amended by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 Amendments Act of 2008.||The issue was whether respondents have Article III standing to seek prospective relief under the FISA. Several groups, including attorneys, journalists, and human rights organizations, brought a facial challenge to a provision of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). Clapper was a challenge to the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, which empowers the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to authorize surveillance without a showing of probable cause that the target of the surveillance is an agent of a foreign power. The government need only demonstrate that the surveillance targets “persons reasonably believed to be located outside the United States” and seeks “foreign intelligence information.” The plaintiffs alleged that they sustained greater inconvenience and higher costs because of the need to conduct secure communications with parties overseas whom the U.S. government had probably targeted for surveillance. The challenge was brought against James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence. The provision creates new procedures for authorizing government electronic surveillance of non-U.S. persons outside the U.S. for foreign intelligence purposes. The groups argue that the procedures violate the Fourth Amendment, the First Amendment, Article III of the Constitution, and the principle of separation of powers. The new provisions would force these groups to take costly measures to ensure the confidentiality of their international communications. The District Court for the Southern District of New York granted summary judgment for the government, holding that the groups did not have standing to bring their challenge. The groups only had an abstract subjective fear of being monitored and provided no proof that they were subject to the FISA. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reversed, holding that the groups had standing based on a reasonable fear of injury and costs incurred to avoid that injury.||Justice Samuel A. Alito, writing for a 5-4 majority, reversed and remanded for further proceedings. The Court held that the respondents did not have standing under Article III of the U.S. Constitution because no injury occurred. Claiming a reasonable likelihood that their communications would be intercepted under FISA is not enough to show future injury for standing purposes. The Court also refused to acknowledge a present injury stemming from the respondents' choice to take costly measures to protect their confidential communications. Justice Stephen G. Breyer dissented, arguing that the future harm to respondents is not speculative and therefore should be sufficient to establish standing. Since there is a high probability that the government will intercept at least some of the respondents' communications, the respondents should have standing to bring the suit. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, and Justice Elena Kagan joined in the dissent.|
|Commonwealth of Kentucky v. Jeffrey Wasson||Kentucky v. Wasson, 842 S.W.2d 487 (Ky. 1992)||United States||Kentucky||American Law Institute||true||Kentucky Supreme Court||Kentucky v. Wasson (842 S.W.2d 487) was a 1992 Kentucky Supreme Court decision striking down that state's criminalization of consensual sodomy between same-sex partners, holding that this was a violation of both the equal protection of the laws and the right to privacy. The Kentucky case helped pave the way for many other states and eventually the United States Supreme Court to issue similar rulings.||At that time, Kentucky law criminalized consensual sexual relations between people of the same sex, even if conducted in private. Such conduct was a misdemeanor punishable by up to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $500. Solicitation of same was also a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a fine of up to $250.
Jeffery Wasson was arrested and charged with solicitation of same sex sodomy as the result of an undercover operation conducted by the Lexington, Kentucky police. The police drove to a selected area and conversed with people to see if they would be solicited for sex. An undercover officer taped approximately 20 minutes of a conversation with Wasson. Near the end of the conversation Wasson invited the officer to come home with him. When prodded for details, Wasson suggested sexual activities that violated the Kentucky statute prohibiting homosexual activity. In its recitation of the facts, the Kentucky Supreme Court noted that there "was no suggestion that sexual activity would occur anyplace other than in the privacy of Wasson's home. The sexual activity was intended to have been between consenting adults. No money was offered or solicited."The initial trial court, Fayette District Court, dismissed the charges holding that the law was unconstitutional. Upon appeal, the Fayette Circuit Court reached the same conclusion. The Commonwealth appealed that decision. The Kentucky Supreme Court granted a transfer, bypassing the Kentucky Court of Appeals.
|he case was granted transfer from Fayette Circuit Court directly to the Kentucky Supreme Court, bypassing the Kentucky Court of Appeals. In a 4-3 ruling struck down anti-sodomy laws in effect since 1860, declaring them unconstitutional in Kentucky law with the declaration that it violated both the right to privacy and the right to equal protection under the law found in the Kentucky Constitution. Justice Charles M. Leibson authored the majority opinion, which noted that significantly, Kentucky has a rich and compelling tradition of recognizing and protecting individual rights from state intrusion in cases similar in nature, found in the Debates of the Kentucky Constitutional Convention of 1890 and cases from the same era when that Constitution was adopted... Kentucky cases recognized a legally protected right of privacy based on our own constitution and common law tradition long before the United States Supreme Court first took notice of whether there were any rights of privacy inherent in the Federal Bill of Rights. Asserting that "state constitutional jurisprudence in this area is not limited by the constraints inherent in federal due process analysis", the majority opinion held that the law as written and enforced "infringed upon the equal protection guarantees found in the Kentucky Constitution."
The case was styled Commonwealth of Kentucky v. Jeffery Wasson, 842 S.W.2d 487. The decision was handed down on September 24, 1992.
The case was among the early ones to strike down same-sex sodomy laws on the grounds that such laws violated the Equal Protection doctrine. Four other states preceded Kentucky in striking down same-sex sodomy laws. New York in New York v. Onofre, 51 N.Y.2d 476, 434 N.Y.S.2d 947, 415 N.E.2d 936 (1980) and Pennsylvania in Commonwealth v. Bonadio, 490 Pa. 91, 415 A.2d 47 (1980) did so on grounds similar to those cited by the Kentucky Supreme Court. A lower appellate court in Texas and the Wayne County Circuit Court in Michigan had also struck down same-sex sodomy laws by that time, though neither state's highest court had yet issued such a holding. Those cases were Texas v. Morales, 826 S.W.2d 201 (Texas App., Austin 1992) and Michigan Organization for Human Rights v. Kelly, No. 88- 815820(CZ) (Wayne County Circuit Court, July 9, 1990). Citing these cases, the Kentucky court wrote: "Thus our decision, rather than being the leading edge of change, is but a part of the moving stream." In time this statement was proven correct, as other states and eventually the United States Supreme Court reached the same conclusion as Kentucky had in Wasson.At the time, the decision - which was based solely on interpretation of the Kentucky Constitution - was at odds with federal case law on the same subject. The United States Supreme Court had previously held in Bowers v. Hardwick, 478 U.S. 186 (1986) that federal constitutional protection of the right of privacy was not implicated in laws penalizing homosexual sodomy. It was not until years after the Wasson case that the United States Supreme Court revisited the issue and reversed its holding in Lawrence v. Texas.
|Dendrite International, Inc. v. Doe No. 3||Dendrite International, Inc. v. Doe No. 3, 342 N.J. Super. 134, 775 A.2d 756 (App. Div. 2001)||United States||true||US Supreme Court||Constitution - Amendment I||Dendrite International, Inc. v. Doe No. 3, 342 N.J. Super. 134, 775 A.2d 756 (App. Div. 2001), is a New Jersey Superior Court case in which Dendrite International, Inc., a purveyor of computer software used in the pharmaceutical industry, brought a John Doe lawsuit against individuals who had anonymously posted criticisms of the company on a Yahoo message board.||A corporation alleged defamation by multiple Doe defendants on a Yahoo! message board and sought expedited discovery in order to learn their identities.
The original Superior Court case, Dendrite International, Inc. v. Does, was a lawsuit brought by Dendrite International, Inc. (since acquired by Cegedim), a company that provided pharmaceutical-industry-specific customer relationship management software, against fourteen anonymous defendants. These individuals had posted messages on a Yahoo message board which Dendrite claimed were breaches of contract, were defamatory and contained trade secrets.
The plaintiffs requested that the court reveal the identity of four of the Does. However, unlike judges in previous similar cases, the trial judge ordered that a notice be posted on the message board alerting the Does that Dendrite was subpoenaing Yahoo, enabling some of the Does to contest the action. In November 2000, the trial judge granted the company's motion to conduct limited discovery to ascertain the identities of Does No. 1 and 2, but denied access to Does 3 and 4.
Doe No. 3's comments were related to alleged changes in the company's accounting practices and discussed the CEO's unsuccessful attempts to sell the company. The trial judge felt that Dendrite had failed to prove that it was harmed by the allegations, and found that the conduct of Does No. 3 and 4 did not warrant the revocation of their constitutional protections. Dendrite appealed the decision with respect to Doe No. 3.
The appellate court affirmed the Morris County court's opinion, finding that Dendrite's prima facie case did not merit the unmasking of Doe No. 3.The standard set by this case has been applied to several others, some in states other than New Jersey, including Indiana.
|The New Jersey appellate court set forth a four-part test to ensure that plaintiffs do not use discovery to “harass, intimidate or silence critics in the public forum opportunities presented by the Internet.” First, the plaintiff must make an effort to notify the anonymous poster that he or she is the subject of a subpoena or application for a disclosure order, giving a reasonable time for the poster to file opposition. Second, the plaintiff must set forth the specific statements that are alleged to be actionable. Third, the plaintiff must produce sufficient evidence to state a prima facie cause of action. If this showing is made, then the final step should be undertaken: to balance the strength of that prima facie case against the defendant's First Amendment right to speak anonymously. The appellate court affirmed the trial court's denial of the discovery application, as the corporate plaintiff had failed to produce evidence that any decline in its stock price had been caused by the offensive messages.|
|Doe v. Bolton||Doe v. Bolton, 410 U.S. 179 (1973)||United States||true||US Supreme Court, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia||Constitution - Amendment XIV|
Ga. Criminal Code § 26-1202(a)
|Doe v. Bolton, 410 U.S. 179 (1973), was a decision of the United States Supreme Court overturning the abortion law of Georgia. The Supreme Court's decision was released on January 22, 1973, the same day as the decision in the better-known case of Roe v. Wade.||The Georgia law in question permitted abortion only in cases of rape, severe fetal deformity, or the possibility of severe or fatal injury to the mother. Other restrictions included the requirement that the procedure be approved in writing by three physicians and by a three-member special committee that either (1) continued pregnancy would endanger the pregnant woman's life or "seriously and permanently" injure her health; (2) the fetus would "very likely be born with a grave, permanent and irremediable mental or physical defect"; or (3) the pregnancy resulted from rape or incest. In addition, only Georgia residents could receive abortions under this statutory scheme: non-residents could not have an abortion in Georgia under any circumstances.
The plaintiff, a pregnant woman who was given the pseudonym "Mary Doe" in court papers to protect her identity, sued Arthur K. Bolton, then the Attorney General of Georgia, as the official responsible for enforcing the law in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. The anonymous plaintiff has since been identified Sandra Cano, young mother of three who was nine weeks pregnant at the time the lawsuit was filed. Cano, who died in 2014, described herself as pro-life and claimed her attorney, Margie Pitts Hames, lied to her in order to have a plaintiff.
On October 14, 1970, a three-judge panel of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia consisting of Northern District of Georgia Judges Albert John Henderson, Sidney Oslin Smith Jr., and Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Lewis Render Morgan unanimously declared the conditional restrictions portion of the law unconstitutional, though upheld the medical approval and residency requirements. The court also declined to issue an injunction against enforcement of the law, similarly to the district court in the case Roe v. Wade. The plaintiff appealed to the Supreme Court under a statute, since repealed, permitting bypass of the circuit appeals court.
The oral arguments and re-arguments followed the same schedule as those in Roe. Atlanta attorney Hames represented Doe at the hearings, while Georgia assistant attorney general Dorothy Toth Beasley represented Bolton.
The same 7–2 majority that struck down a Texas abortion law in Roe v. Wade invalidated most of the remaining restrictions of the Georgia abortion law, including the medical approval and residency requirements. The Court reiterated the protected "right to privacy," which applied to matters involving marriage, procreation, contraception, family relationships, child rearing, and education. Justice Harry A. Blackmun wrote the majority opinion for the Court, in which he explained "the sensitive and emotional nature" of the issue and "the deep and seemingly absolute convictions" on both sides. Justice Blackmun went on to conclude that as a constitutional matter, the right to privacy was "broad enough to encompass a woman's decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy."Together, Doe and Roe declared abortion as a constitutional right and overturned most laws against abortion in other U.S. states. Roe legalized abortion nationwide for approximately the first six months of pregnancy until the point of fetal viability.
|The district court judges decided that women could request abortions for any reason, so long as they had physician approval, but left in place the requirements that each physician intending to perform an abortion get the opinions of two consulting physicians and the approval of a hospital abortion committee. As a result of the district court’s decision, the Georgia abortion law continued to be enforced in Georgia, but the reasons for which women could request abortions were expanded.
After the decision of the district court, Doe, Hames, and the other case participants appealed the case to the US Supreme Court to request further dismantling of the Georgia abortion law. The US Supreme Court justices agreed to take the case. At that time, the Supreme Court justices had agreed to hear another case regarding abortion, called Roe v. Wade. Because the two cases dealt with similar topics, the justices joined the cases together and made them companion cases.The US Supreme Court made its decision on 22 January 1973, the same day it decided the companion case Roe v. Wade. In their decision of Roe v. Wade, the justices determined that abortion was a legal procedure in the US, based on women’s rights to privacy established in the Fourteenth Amendment to the US Constitution. The justices used that reasoning in Doe v. Bolton and added to it.
|Doe v. Borough of Barrington||Doe v. Borough of Barrington, 729 F. Supp. 376 (D.N.J. 1990)||United States||New Jersey||true||US District Court||Constitution - Amendment XIV||Doe v. Borough of Barrington was an American personal privacy lawsuit that was adjudicated in the US District Court in New Jersey in 1990. The U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey ruled that the constitutional right to privacy extends to all family members of a person with HIV and that this right was violated when police officers informed the family’s neighbors of the husband/father’s HIV infection.||On March 25, 1987, Jane Doe, John Doe, and a friend were driving in the Borough of Barrington when they were stopped by police. After some questioning, John Doe was arrested. While being arrested, an HIV-positive man informed the police officers that he had HIV. Later that day, while responding to an incident between the man’s wife and her neighbor, two police officers told the neighbor that the man had AIDS (it’s not clear if the police officers said “AIDS” not understanding that it is different from what the man disclosed, or if the court made the error in the opinion). The neighbors then contacted other families, the local school, and the media. As a result, the man’s family was shunned by the community. The officers claim that they informed the neighbors because they feared that the neighbors could contract AIDS through contact with the family. The man’s wife and children brought a § 1983 civil rights action against the police officers for violating their federal constitutional right to privacy. The court found that the entire family had a constitutionally protected right to privacy regarding the man’s HIV status due to the sensitive nature of the information and the stigma associated with the disease. The government has a duty to avoid disclosure of confidential information and can only disclose such information if the government’s interest in disclosure outweighs the substantial privacy interest involved. In this case, the disclosure by the police served no societal interest, and thus could not be excused, since the court found that it was well established by 1987 that HIV could not be spread through casual contact. Furthermore, the court held that the arrested man, by voluntarily giving the information to the police officers, did not give up his right to privacy. He had informed the police officers of his HIV infection so they would be careful in searching him, because he had a hypodermic needle in his possession. Finally, the court found that the police department was liable for failure to train its police officers about AIDS and about the need to keep information about it confidential. The failure to train amounted to a “deliberate indifference” to the rights of people with HIV because the department’s failure to train its police officers was likely to result in a violation of constitutional rights.||In the case, the court decided that a family's privacy rights were violated when a police officer told their neighbors that the husband, John Doe, had HIV/AIDS. He had divulged that information to the officer during a search.|
|Doe v. Cahill||Doe v. Cahill, 884 A.2d 451 (Del. 2005)||United States||Delaware||false||U.S. Delaware Supreme Court||Constitution - Amendment I||In 2004, an anonymous internet user, referred to in the decision as Doe, posted comments under the alias "Proud Citizen" on a website called the "Smyrna/Clayton Issues Blog" regarding the performance of Patrick and Julia Cahill as City Councilman of Smyrna. The website was sponsored by the Delaware State News. The guidelines for use of the blog simply stated "this is your hometown forum for opinions about public issues." A member of the Smyrna, Delaware town council sued four anonymous posters to a community blog sponsored by a local newspaper, who posted denigrating material. One of the four Does moved to quash a subpoena for identifying information, but the trial judge enforced the subpoena, holding that a defendant must be identified so long as the plaintiff has sued in good faith. Public Citizen filed an amicus brief in the Delaware Supreme Court arguing for the application of the Dendrite analysis, and contending that this standard was not met because, especially given the fact that the plaintiff was a public official, the comments over which plaintiff had sued were not defamatory (because they were opinion), and in any event the plaintiff had not shown falsity.||The judgement of the superior court was reversed, the case was remanded back to the superior court with instructions to dismiss the plaintiff's claim with prejudice. Therefore, Doe was permitted to remain anonymous.|
|Doe v. Chao||Doe v. Chao, 540 U.S. 614 (2004)||United States||true||US Supreme Court||Privacy Act of 1974||Doe v. Chao, 540 U.S. 614 (2004), is a decision by the United States Supreme Court that interpreted the statutory damages provision of the Privacy Act of 1974.||The issue was whether the federal Privacy Act requires that people prove they suffered "actual damage" stemming from the government's violation of their privacy rights in order to win damages in a suit against the government.
Seven coal miners sued the Department of Labor, claiming that the department had violated the federal Privacy Act and the right to privacy found in the federal Constitution by releasing their social security numbers (SSNs). The Privacy Act stated that any "person entitled to recovery" in a suit against the government for a violation of privacy would be awarded "actual damages sustained by the individual... but in no case... (would the damages awarded be) less than the sum of $1000" and attorney fees.
The miners argued that all they needed to prove in order to receive the $1000 minimum award was that the government had violated their privacy by releasing their SSNs; they did not need to prove that they had suffered actual damages. They maintained that the inclusion of "actual damages" in the act was only intended to limit the size of judgments awarded against the government, not to require proof of actual damage. The government argued that the act required the miners to prove that they had been harmed by the government's violation of their privacy.
The district court ruled in favor of the government. A divided Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals panel affirmed.Justice David Hackett Souter delivered the Court's 6-3 opinion that the Privacy Act requires plaintiffs to prove actual damages to qualify for the minimum statutory award of $1000. The Court reasoned that "a straightforward textual analysis" of the Privacy Act shows that the statute guarantees the $1000 minimum for victims of willful Privacy Act violations only in relation to "actual damages sustained." Individuals subjected to an adverse effect - like the miners in this case - have "injury enough to open the courthouse door, but without more" have "no cause of action for damages under the Privacy Act."
|The Fourth Circuit reversed. It interpreted the statute to require a plaintiff to show some actual damages before the statutory minimum damages could be awarded. Further, it found that plaintiff's testimony about his "distress" was not legally sufficient to show that he had been damaged by the disclosure. This decision conflicted with decisions of the First, Fifth, Ninth, Eleventh, and District of Columbia circuits, and the Supreme Court granted certiorari to resolve the dispute.|
|Doe v. Commonwealth's Attorney of Richmond||Doe v. Commonwealth's Attorney of Richmond, 425 U.S. 901 (1976)||United States||true||US Supreme Court||Constitution - Amendment I|
Constitution - Amendment XIV
Constitution - Amendment V
|Doe v. Commonwealth's Attorney of Richmond, 425 U.S. 901 (1976), is a decision by the Supreme Court of the United States which gave summary affirmation of a lower court ruling which upheld the U.S. state of Virginia's ban on homosexual sodomy. Virginia's statute making sodomy a crime is unconstitutional, each of the male plaintiffs aver, when it is applied to his active and regular homosexual relations with another adult male, consensually and in private. They assert that local State officers threaten them with prosecution for violation of this law, that such enforcement would deny them their Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments' assurance of due process, the First Amendment's protection of their rights of freedom of expression, the First and Ninth Amendments' guarantee of privacy, and the Eighth Amendment's forbiddance of cruel and unusual punishments. A declaration of the statute's invalidity in the circumstances is prayed as well as an injunction against its enforcement. Defendants are State prosecuting officials and they take issue with the plaintiffs' conclusions. With no conflict of fact present, the validity of this enactment becomes a question of law.||The first permanent English colony was established in 1607 in Jamestown, Virginia. Three years later in 1610, Virginia adopted England's sodomy laws, making sodomy punishable by death. The first person punished under a sodomy law in the English colonies was a women, Elizabeth Johnson, in 1642 in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.Gay men were not singled out by sodomy laws until the late 1800s, when gay subcultures developed in the growing cities. Police frequently raided restaurants and bars with gay and lesbian clientele throughout the 20th century. By the 1950s, all 50 states had sodomy laws, and sodomy was considered a felony in all but two states. In the spring of 1969, several Richmond, Virginia, bars were forced to close for violating Virginia alcoholic beverage control laws which prohibited the sale of alcohol to known homosexuals. Many people wrote letters to the Richmond Times-Dispatch protesting the closing of these bars. In 1961, Illinois became the first U.S. state to repeal their law against consensual sodomy. At the time of the Doe case, 34 states had laws making homosexual acts between consenting adults punishable criminal offenses.
Following the U.S. Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision, members of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF) worked with an attorney from the Loving v. Virginia (1967) case, Philip Hirschkop, to challenge Virginia's sodomy laws. Hirschkop believed that the right to privacy established in previous cases, especially Roe, protected consenting adults' sexual behavior.In 1975, with the assistance of NGLTF, two anonymous homosexual men filed suit in federal district court challenging the constitutionality of the criminalization of homosexual anal or oral sex. The Code of Virginia provided: "§ 18.1-212. Crimes against nature. If any person shall carnally know in any manner any brute animal, or carnally know any male or female person by the anus or by or with the mouth, or voluntarily submit to such carnal knowledge, he or she shall be guilty of a felony and shall be confined in the penitentiary not less than one year nor more than three years." The plaintiffs claimed this statute violated their First Amendment right to freedom of expression, their Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments right to due process, and the Eighth Amendment's prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment.
|A three-judge panel of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia upheld the constitutionality of anti-sodomy laws.
The majority opinion, written by Senior Circuit Judge Albert V. Bryan, concluded: "If a State determines that punishment therefor, even when committed in the home, is appropriate in the promotion of morality and decency, it is not for the courts to say that the State is not free to do so." Judge Robert R. Merhige Jr. disagreed with the ruling. In his dissenting opinion he wrote: "The Supreme Court has consistently held that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment protects the right of individuals to make personal choices.. A mature individual's choice of an adult sexual partner, in the privacy of his or her own home, would appear to me to be a decision of the utmost private and intimate concern.""The two plaintiffs appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which provided a one-sentence summary affirmation of the district court's decision.
|Doe v. Shurtleff||Doe v. Shurtleff, 628 F.3d 1217 (10th Cir. 2010)||United States||true||United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit||Constitution - Amendment I|
Constitution - Amendment XIV
Constitution - Amendment IV
Utah Code Ann. § 77-27-21.5
|Doe v. Shurtleff, 628 F.3d 1217 (10th Cir. 2010), was a United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit case assessing the constitutionality of Utah Code Ann. § 77-27-21.5, a law that requires sex offenders to register their internet identifiers with the state in order to "assist in investigating kidnapping and sex-related crimes, and in apprehending offenders." In this case, a convicted sex offender, appearing anonymously as John Doe, appealed a decision by the United States District Court for the District of Utah to vacate an order enjoining the enforcement of Utah Code Ann. § 77-27-21.5.||In this case, a convicted sex offender, appearing anonymously as John Doe, appealed a decision by the United States District Court for the District of Utah to vacate an order enjoining the enforcement of Utah Code Ann. § 77-27-21.5. Even though Doe did not dispute the state's interest in enacting such a statute, he believed that the statute's enforcement ran afoul of his:
1. First Amendment right to engage in anonymous speech;
2. Fourth Amendment rights to privacy and freedom from unreasonable search and seizure; and
3. the Ex Post Facto Clause of the Constitution. Upon examining Doe's appeal, the Tenth Circuit determined that Utah's registration statute did not violate Doe's First or Fourth Amendment rights or the Ex Post Facto Clause, and therefore affirmed the lower court's decision to lift the injunction.
Doe was convicted by the United States military court system for sex offenses involving a minor and received an 18-month prison sentence. He was released after 13 months' imprisonment and was neither placed on probation nor put on supervised release. However, as a convicted sex offender residing in Utah, Doe was required to register with the Utah Department of Corrections under the Utah Code Ann. § 77-27-21.5. The statute specifically required Doe to provide "'all online identifiers and passwords used to access' websites where he was using an online identifier'". An exception was granted for identifiers associated with employment and financial accounts. Doe refused to register his identifier information and decided to challenge the law.
Doe argued that by forcing him to reveal his online identifiers to the state, the Utah registration statute hindered him from exercising his First Amendment right to engage in anonymous speech. Citing to McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Commission, 514 U.S. 334 (1995), and Reno v. ACLU, 521 U.S. 844 (1997), the Tenth Circuit acknowledged that First Amendment protection for anonymous speech was a well-established precedent, and that this protection had been extended to internet communications. However, the Tenth Circuit went on to explain that "a state may permissibly infringe upon this right when its interest is important enough and the law is appropriately tailored to meet the stated interest."
Appellant, proceeding anonymously as Mr. John Doe, was convicted by the United States military court system of sex offenses involving a minor and sentenced to eighteen months' imprisonment. After serving thirteen months of this sentence, Mr. Doe was released without being placed on probation or supervised! release. However, as a resident of Utah and a convicted sex offender, Mr. Doe was still required to register with the Utah Department of Corrections, pursuant to Utah Code Ann. § 77-27-21.5 (West 2008). Among its many provisions, this registry law required Mr. Doe to provide all "Internet identifiers and the addresses he uses for routing or self-identification in Internet communications or postings." Id. § 77-27-21.5(14)(i). The statute also required that Mr. Doe provide "all online identifiers and passwords used to access" websites where he was using an online identifier, with the exception of identifiers used for employment or financial accounts. Id. § 77-27-21.5(12)0) (29).
Believing that these requirements violated his First and Fourth Amendment rights as well as the Ex Post Facto Clause of the United States Constitution, Mr. Doe refused to provide the requested information and brought a lawsuit challenging the law. Upon Mr. Doe's motion for summary judgment, the district court invalidated the statute based on its conclusion that the statute, which provided "no restrictions on how the State could use or disseminate registrants' internet information," improperly infringed on Mr. Doe's First Amendment right to anonymous speech. (Appellant's App. at 208.) Shortly after this ruling, the Utah legislature amended the statute. First, the legislature removed any requirement that offenders disclose their passwords, and second, it placed some limits on how a state official can use identifiers provided by an offender.
The state, to assist in investigating kidnapping and sex-related crimes, and in apprehending offenders, shall:
(a) develop and operate a system to collect, analyze, maintain, and disseminate information on offenders and sex and kidnap offenses;
(b) make information listed in Subsection (27) available to the public; and
(c) share information provided by an offender under this section that may not be made available to the public under Subsection (27), but only:
(i) for the purposes under this Sub-section (2); or
(ii) in accordance with Section 63G-2-206.
Utah Code Ann. § 77-27-21.5(2) (West Supp. 2010). Additionally, the legislature amended Utah's Government Records Access and Management Act, or GRAMA, to designate certain information provided by an offender, including internet identifiers, as private.Following these amendments, the State filed a motion for the district court to vacate its earlier order pursuant to Rule 60(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. After considering the briefs, the district court granted the motion, holding that the new restrictions "diminished" the chilling effect on Doe's speech so that his First Amendment right to anonymous speech was no longer "significantly threatened." (Appellant's App. at 292.) The court then concluded that the statute did not violate the Fourth Amendment because Mr. Doe had failed to show he had a reasonable expectation of privacy in his internet identifiers, which are communicated to a third party. Finally, the court held, relying on our earlier decision in Femedeer v. Haun, 227 F.3d 1244, 1246 (10th Cir. 2000), that the registry statute did not violate the Ex Post Facto Clause. Mr. Doe now appeals each of these rulings.
|The Tenth Circuit acknowledged that First Amendment protection for anonymous speech was a well-established precedent, and that this protection had been extended to internet communications. However, the Tenth Circuit went on to explain that "a state may permissibly infringe upon this right when its interest is important enough and the law is appropriately tailored to meet the stated interest."
To determine whether the registration statute was a permissible infringement of Doe's First Amendment rights, the Tenth Circuit first needed to determine whether the statute was a content-based restriction. If so, under First Amendment doctrine, the court would determine the law's constitutionality using a strict scrutiny standard. If not, the court would apply intermediate scrutiny, a laxer standard.The court stated that the State may only monitor anonymous communications after a new crime has occurred, and not at all times. The court further noted disclosure of anonymity would occur after the speech had already been made, thus lessening the statute's chilling effect.
|Doe v. Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority||Doe v. Southeastern Pennsylvania Transp. Authority, 886 F. Supp. 1186 (E.D. Pa. 1994)||United States||Pennsylvania||true||United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit||SEPTA, a public transportation
authority operating mass transit facilities in the metropolitan Philadelphia area, hired John Doe in 1988. Unbeknownst to his new employer, Doe was HIVpositive. He began taking zidovudine in 1991. But before getting his prescription filled, he told Dr. Richard Press, head of SEPTA's Medical Department and Doe's direct supervisor, that he wished to keep his illness a secret from his coworkers. Dr. Press assured Doe that employee prescription records were reviewed only when someone was suspected of abusing narcotic drugs. Doe then had his prescription filled under SEPTA's health insurance plan. Rite Aid provided the reports, which included statistics on the number of employees with five or more prescriptions filled in a one-month period. The report included the names of the employees or dependents, a code to identify the prescribing physician, the dispensing date, the name of the drug, the number of days the drug was supplied for, and the total cost. Pierce then went to Dr. Press and asked him to perform an audit using the information in the report, at which time he noted that she had highlighted specific employee names and drugs. All of the highlighted drugs were HIV- or AIDSrelated. Dr. Press refused to perform the audit and went to SEPTA's legal counsel about his concerns. As a result, Pierce destroyed the report and instructed Rite Aid to submit all future utilization re- ports without employee names. Doe learned that his HIV-positive status had been disclosed from Dr. Van de Beek and filed suit in district court against Pierce and against SEPTA for violating his constitutional right to privacy. After a week-long trial, the jury ruled in Doe's favor and awarded him $125,000 in compensatory damages for emotional stress.} Doe also filed a related suit against Rite Aid and its employees in state court. That case was settled when Rite Aid agreed to modify its procedures to prevent these types of disclosures in the future4 Both SEPTA andPierce appealed the verdict.
|The issue before the court was whether there was a conditional right to privacy in prescription drug records. The court held that medical records, prescription drug records, and an individual's HIV status are constitutionally protected, but set aside the verdict where the opposing party established a legitimate purpose in accessing that information.
John Doe was an employee for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority SEPTA who had contracted Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome HIV/AIDS. Judith Pierce was the chief administrative officer for SEPTA who managed the costs of SEPTA's employee prescription drug program. This program was part of an insurance package offered to SEPTA employees. SEPTA had entered into a new prescription plan with Rite Aid, which provided Pierce with reports that included the names of the employees, linking them with the prescriptions they were filling.
Doe was currently taking various prescriptions, including Retrovir, to treat his condition. Due to the delicate nature of his disease, Doe expressed concern about maintaining the secrecy of his condition. He revealed his AIDS status to Dr. Richard Press, the head of SEPTA's medical department, who in turn assured him that employee names were not typically linked to the list of prescriptions reviewed.
Because of the new reports, Pierce was able to link the drugs Doe took to his name, and deduced his condition as a result. Doe became aware of this breach of his privacy, and brought this action, claiming he felt ostracized at work.
After weighing each of these factors, the court held:A self-insured employer's need to access to employee prescription records under its health insurance plan, when the information disclosed is only for the purpose of monitoring the plans by those with a need to know, outweighs an employee's interest in keeping his prescription drug purchases confidential. Such minimal intrusion, although an impingement on privacy, is insufficient to constitute a constitutional violation.
|The Third Circuit held that individuals have a constitutionally protected right to privacy in their medical records, including prescription drug records, and in their HIV status. A self-insured employer's need to access to employee prescription records under its health insurance plan, when the information disclosed is only for the purpose of monitoring the plans by those with a need to know, outweighs an employee's interest in keeping his prescription drug purchases confidential. Such minimal intrusion, although an impingement on privacy, is insufficient to constitute a constitutional violation.|
|Eisenstadt v. Baird||Eisenstadt v. Baird, 405 U.S. 438 (1972)||United States||Massachusetts||true||US Supreme Court||Constitution - Amendment I|
Constitution - Amendment XIV
|Eisenstadt v. Baird, 405 U.S. 438 (1972), was a landmark decision of the US Supreme Court that established the right of unmarried people to possess contraception on the same basis as married couples.||Appellee attacks his conviction of violating Massachusetts law for giving a woman a contraceptive foam at the close of his lecture to students on contraception. That law makes it a felony for anyone to give away a drug, medicine, instrument, or article for the prevention of conception except in the case of (1) a registered physician administering or prescribing it for a married person or (2) an active registered pharmacist furnishing it to a married person presenting a registered physician's prescription. The District Court dismissed appellee's petition for a writ of habeas corpus. The Court of Appeals vacated the dismissal, holding that the statute is a prohibition on contraception per se, and conflicts "with fundamental human rights" under Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U. S. 479. Appellant, inter alia, argues that appellee lacks standing to assert the rights of unmarried persons denied access to contraceptives because he was neither an authorized distributor under the statute nor a single person unable to obtain contraceptives.|
|Epstein v. Epstein||Barry Epstein v. Paula Epstein N. 1:14-CV-08431||United States||Illinois||true||US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois||Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968|
Constitution - Amendment IV
|FCC v. AT&T Inc.||Federal Communications Commission v. AT&T Inc., 562 U.S. 397 (2011)||United States||true||US Supreme Court||Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)||Federal Communications Commission v. AT&T Inc., 562 U.S. 397 (2011), was a United States Supreme Court case on aspects of corporate personhood. It held that the exemption from Freedom of Information Act disclosure requirements for law enforcement records which "could reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy" does not protect information related to corporate privacy.||The issue is whether corporations may assert personal privacy interests to prevent the government from releasing documents about them. CompTel, a trade association that represents some of AT&T's competitors, filed a FOIA request with the Federal Communications Commission in 2005, seeking documents related to an FCC probe into whether AT&T had overcharged the agency for work on a technology education project. AT&T fought the request, contending the production of the documents violated Exemption 7(c) of FOIA, which exempts document disclosures in law enforcement records that would constitute an invasion of "personal privacy." The FCC rejected AT&T's argument, but in September 2009, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held that the phrase "personal privacy" applied to corporations because other sections of FOIA had defined "person" as a corporation.||The Supreme Court reversed the lower court decision in a unanimous opinion by Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. The court held that corporations do not have a right of personal privacy that would protect them from the disclosure of public records that have been handed over to federal agencies. Justice Elena Kagan took no part in consideration of the case.
The Court's opinion ends with the following:"We reject the argument that because "person" is defined for purposes of FOIA to include a corporation, the phrase "personal privacy" in Exemption 7(C) reaches corporations as well. The protection in FOIA against disclosure of law enforcement information on the ground that it would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy does not extend to corporations. We trust that AT&T will not take it personally."
|Federal Aviation Administration v. Cooper||Federal Aviation Administration v. Cooper, 566 U.S. 284 (2012)||United States||true||US Supreme Court||Privacy Act of 1974||Federal Aviation Administration v. Cooper, 566 U.S. 284 (2012), was a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court held that "actual damages" under the Privacy Act of 1974 is not clear enough to allow damages for suits for mental and emotional distress.||Stanmore Cawthon Cooper was a licensed pilot since 1964. He was diagnosed with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in 1985, but he did not inform the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) because at the time of his diagnosis the FAA would not allow pilots with HIV to keep flying. He also feared that if his sexual orientation was disclosed he would suffer discrimination in many aspects of his life. So to keep his pilot's license during renewal periods, Cooper withheld that information from his renewal certifications. Cooper renewed his medical certificate in 1994, 1998, 2000, 2002. and 2004 without disclosing his HIV status. In 1995 Cooper was no longer able to work because of his medical condition, Cooper filed for Social Security Disability from the Social Security Administration (SSA) and was granted long-term disability benefits, under Title II of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 401. Cooper disclosed his HIV status to the Social Security Administration, believing that his medical information was protected under the Privacy Act.
In March 2007, Cooper filed a lawsuit in the Northern District of California against the Government for "willful or intentional" violations of the 1974 Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552a, and that such violation caused him "to suffer humiliation, embarrassment, mental anguish, fear of social ostracism, and other severe emotional distress." The Privacy Act includes a private right of action that allows citizens to sue the federal government if an agency makes an unauthorized disclosure that has an "adverse effect" on the individual. In Doe v. Chao, 540 U.S. 614 (2004), the Supreme Court held that even when a plaintiff shows that the Government violated the Privacy Act by disclosing his Social Security Number, an individual must prove some actual damages before he can receive the minimum $1,000 award. The district court held that the Government violated the Privacy Act, but that the Act only allows recovery for pecuniary damages. Having failed to state such a claim, the court ruled that Cooper could not make a claim for relief under the Act. That court also held that when the statutory language is ambiguous, the "sovereign immunity canon" requires a court to construe the damages provision in favor of the Government. The case was dismissed. Cooper appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
The Court of Appeal looked at the summary judgment de novo, and held that mental and emotional damages constitute "actual damages" under the Privacy Act. Calling Congress' intent to allow recovery for mental and emotional damages "unambiguous", the Ninth Circuit also held that the sovereign immunity canon was inapplicable in this case. Congress waived sovereign immunity, the court reasoned, by allowing citizens who were injured by the release of information to initiate a civil action. The Court of Appeals stated "Unfortunately, there is no ordinary or plain meaning of the term actual damages because it is a legal term of art. As a result, ordinary dictionaries are of no assistance in clarifying the plain meaning of the term." The ninth circuit reversed and remanded the case back to the district court.
The Supreme Court granted certiorari in 2011, after the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit denied a rehearing of the case. The Supreme Court disagreed with the Appeals Court, saying that "Waiver of sovereign immunity must be 'unequivocally expressed" in the statutory text. The court went on to say that "Congress need not state its intent in any particular way. We have never required that Congress use magic words." The court held that as the 9th Circuit stated, "actual damages" is a legal term of art and its meaning is far from clear. Like the Ninth Circuit the Supreme Court stated that "actual damages has this chameleon like quality, we cannot rely on any all-purpose definition but must consider the particular context in which the term appears."The Supreme Court held that the Privacy Act does not unequivocally authorize an award of damages for mental or emotional distress. Accordingly, the Act does not waive the Federal Government's sovereign immunity from the liability.
|The Supreme Court held that the Privacy Act does not unequivocally authorize an award of damages for mental or emotional distress. Accordingly, the Act does not waive the Federal Government's sovereign immunity from the liability.|
|Florence v. Shurtleff||Florence v. Shurtleff, Civil No. 2:05CV000485 (D. Utah 2012)||United States||Utah||true||U.S. District Court||Constitution - Amendment I|
Constitution - Amendment XIV
Constitution - Amendment V
|Florence v. Shurtleff, Civil No. 2:05CV000485 (D. Utah 2012), was a case in which the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah issued an order stating that individuals could not be prosecuted for posting adult content that was constitutionally protected on general access websites, nor could they be civilly liable for failing to prevent access to adult content, so long as the material is identifiable by filtering software. The order was the result of a 2005 lawsuit, The King’s English v. Shurtleff, brought by Utah bookstores, artists, Internet Service Providers and the other organizations challenging the constitutionality of certain portions of a Utah Law intended to protect minors from adult content.||The case was hailed as a "crucial victory for free speech," by the Media Coalition, while the ACLU stated that this order "...removes the cloud cast over internet speech that Utah's broadly worded statute had created," and the Center for Democracy and Technology stated that the judgment brought "...Utah law into line with 15 years of legal precedent protecting the constitutional rights of adults to access lawful content online."|
|Florida Star v. B. J. F.||Florida Star v. B.J.F., 491 U.S. 524 (1989)||United States||Florida||true||US Supreme Court||Constitution - Amendment I||Florida Star v. B.J.F., 491 U.S. 524 (1989), is a United States Supreme Court case involving freedom of the press and privacy rights. After The Florida Star newspaper accidentally revealed the full name of a rape victim it got from a police report, the victim sued for damages. State law made it illegal for a publication to print a rape victim's name, and the victim was awarded damages. On appeal, the Supreme Court ruled the imposition of damages for truthfully publishing public information violates the First Amendment.||Betty Jean Freedman (referred to as B.J.F. in the filings) was a woman who reported to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office that she had been robbed and sexually assaulted. The Sheriff's Office put the details of what happened, including the victim's full name, in the general crime report for the county, which is placed in its press room and made available. A trainee reporter for The Florida Star, a local newspaper in Jacksonville, Florida, copied the item verbatim. A Florida Star reporter then included the item in the October 29, 1983 issue of the paper, but erroneously included the victim's name in violation of the newspaper's internal policy not to identify rape victims.
On September 26, 1984, Freedman sued both the Sheriff's Office and the newspaper for violating Florida's shield law, Stat. § 794.03, which makes it unlawful to "print, publish, or broadcast... in any instrument of mass communication" the name of the victim of a sexual offense. The Sheriff's Office settled, paying the victim $2,500, but the newspaper would not. The trial court rejected the newspaper's defense that § 794.03 was unconstitutional, and the jury awarded Freedman $75,000 in compensatory damages and $25,000 in punitive damages.The Florida First District Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court verdict, the Supreme Court of Florida denied discretionary review, and the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.
|The Court decided the facts in this case were not the same as those in Cox Broadcasting Corp. v. Cohn (1975), where a television station had obtained and reported the name of a rape victim from open court records, and the Supreme Court found the law there unconstitutional. The Court decided that the law was unconstitutional, but on much narrower grounds. First, the law made no effort to punish any party who disseminated the name of a rape victim except an "instrument of mass communication" which the law did not define. This meant that the most vicious gossip who spread the details around was not subject to the law, but supposedly a newspaper was. Second, the law basically punishes a newspaper which truthfully prints information which it had legitimately obtained from a government agency.
While a newspaper could be punished for truthfully reporting facts which were not public knowledge or which it unlawfully obtained (the Court referred back to prior cases where it gave examples of material a newspaper might legally be punished for publishing, such as the dates and times of troop ship movements during war), it is unconstitutional for a government agency to impose punishment upon a newspaper for truthfully publishing information that the government had in fact released publicly.The judgment in favor of Freedman was reversed and the newspaper was found not liable.
|Florida v. Harris||Florida v. Harris, 568 U.S. 237 (2013)||United States||true||US Supreme Court||Florida v. Harris, 568 U.S. 237 (2013), was a case in which the United States Supreme Court addressed the reliability of a dog sniff by a detection dog trained to identify narcotics, under the specific context of whether law enforcement's assertions that the dog is trained or certified is sufficient to establish probable cause for a search of a vehicle under the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Harris was the first Supreme Court case to challenge the dog's reliability, backed by data that asserts that on average, up to 80% of a dog's alerts are wrong. Twenty-four U.S. States, the federal government, and two U.S. territories filed briefs in support of Florida as amici curiae.||On June 24, 2006, a Liberty County, Florida Sheriff's Canine Officer Wheetley and his drug-detection dog, Aldo, were on patrol. The officer conducted a traffic stop of defendant Clayton Harris's truck because his tag had expired. Approaching the truck, the officer noticed that the defendant was shaking, breathing fast, and appeared agitated – he also noticed an open beer container in the vehicle's cup holder. When the defendant refused consent to search the truck, the officer deployed Aldo to walk around the truck. As he performed a "free air sniff" of the truck's exterior, the dog alerted his handler to the driver's side door handle.
The officer then searched the vehicle, and found over 200 pseudoephedrine pills in a plastic bag under the driver's seat. On the passenger's side, the officer found boxes containing a total of 8000 matches. Harris was then placed under arrest, and a further search uncovered muriatic acid, antifreeze/water remover, a foam plate inside a latex glove, and a coffee filter with iodine crystals. The officer testified that these chemicals are precursors of methamphetamine. After being read his Miranda rights, Harris stated that he had been "cooking meth" for about one year, and had most recently cooked it at his home two weeks prior. As no methamphetamine was found in the vehicle, the State charged Harris with possession of the listed chemical pseudoephedrine with intent to use it to manufacture methamphetamine.
About two months after the June 24 stop, Harris was again stopped by the same officer for another traffic infraction. During that stop, the officer again deployed Aldo – who once again alerted to the driver's side door handle. The officer again searched the vehicle, and found no illegal substances, save for an open bottle of alcoholic beverage.
The trial court denied Harris's motion to suppress the evidence produced by the search, and instead found that there was probable cause to support the search. The decision of the Florida First District Court of Appeal (DCA), in a per curiam decision, affirmed the trial court's ruling. The First District, without elaboration, cited State v. Laveroni (2005) and State v. Coleman (2005) as authority in support of affirming the trial court.Harris sought review by the Supreme Court of Florida, based on contradictory appellate rulings from other districts, namely Gibson v. State (2007) and Matheson v. State (2003). In his challenge, Harris pointed out that on each of the two occasions in which his vehicle was searched, the dog alerted his handler to contraband which was not present in the vehicle.
|The United States Supreme Court returned a unanimous decision on February 19, 2013, ruling against Harris and overturning the ruling of the Florida Supreme Court. In the unanimous opinion, Justice Elena Kagan stated that the dog's certification and continued training are adequate indication of his reliability, and thus is sufficient to presume the dog's alert provides probable cause to search, using the "totality-of-the-circumstances" test per Illinois v. Gates. She wrote that the Florida Supreme Court instead established "a strict evidentiary checklist", where "an alert cannot establish probable cause ... unless the State introduces comprehensive documentation of the dog's prior 'hits' and 'misses' in the field ... No matter how much other proof the State offers of the dog's reliability, the absent field performance records will preclude a finding of probable cause." The Court did not, however, rule out the questioning of reliability where specific grounds are present. Kagan also stated that "a defendant must have an opportunity to challenge such evidence of a dog's reliability, whether by cross-examining the testifying officer or by introducing his own fact or expert witnesses. The defendant may contest training or testing standards as flawed, or too lax, or raise an issue regarding the particular alert."|
|Florida v. Jardines||Florida v. Jardines, 569 U.S. 1 (2013)||United States||true||US Supreme Court||Constitution - Amendment IV||Florida v. Jardines, 569 U.S. 1 (2013), was a United States Supreme Court case which resulted in the decision that police use of a trained detection dog to sniff for narcotics on the front porch of a private home is a "search" within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, and therefore, without consent, requires both probable cause and a search warrant.||In 2006, police in Miami, Florida received an anonymous tip that a home was being used as a marijuana grow house. They led a drug-sniffing police dog to the front door of the home, and the dog alerted at the front door to the scent of contraband. A search warrant was issued, which led to the arrest of the homeowner.
Twenty-seven U.S. states and the Federal government, among others, had supported Florida's argument that this use of a police dog was an acceptable form of minimally invasive warrantless search. In a 5-4 decision, the Court disagreed, despite three previous cases in which the Court had held that a dog sniff was not a search when deployed against luggage at an airport, against vehicles in a drug interdiction checkpoint, and against vehicles during routine traffic stops. The Court made clear by this ruling that it considers the deployment of a police dog at the front door of a private residence to be another matter altogether.On November 3, 2006, an anonymous, unverified tip was given to the Miami-Dade Police Department through its "crime stoppers" tip-line, indicating that the residence of Joelis Jardines was being used as a marijuana grow house. About a month later, on December 6, 2006, two detectives and a drug-detection dog approached the residence, while other officers of the Miami-Dade Police Department established perimeter positions around the residence, with agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in stand-by positions as backup units.
|On March 26, 2013, by a 5-4 margin, the Supreme Court held that the government's use of trained police dogs to investigate the home and its immediate surroundings is a "search" within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment, thus affirming the Florida Supreme Court. Having determined the unreasonableness of the search on the basis of property rights, the Court stated that it was unnecessary to address whether or not Jardines' right to privacy was also implicated.|
|Fraley v. Facebook, Inc.||Fraley, et al. v. Facebook, Inc., et al.||United States||false||United States District Court for the Northern District of California||Fraley, et al. v. Facebook, Inc., et al. is a class action lawsuit filed in California against Facebook alleging misappropriation of Facebook users' names and likenesses in advertisements called "Sponsored Stories". The case resulted in the parties reaching a settlement. Settlement checks in the amount of $15 were distributed to class members beginning in November 2016.||The lawsuit was once filed in California superior court on March 11, 2011. Facebook removed the case to the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, where it was assigned to Judge Lucy H. Koh.
Among other procedural motions, Facebook filed a motion to dismiss the case. On December 16, 2011, Judge Koh granted in part and denied in part Facebook's motion. The order denied all significant aspects of Facebook's motion, thereby allowing Plaintiffs to continue the case towards class certification.
In May 2012, one week before the hearing on the motion for class certification, and just after Facebook began selling stock to the public, the parties reached an initial settlement. The settlement proposed US$10 million would be allocated to 10 non-profits involved in privacy and advertising research and education and outreach with regard to social media, and created various changes to Facebook's interface whereby users could have more control over their appearances in advertisements. The settlement also allowed Plaintiffs' attorneys to seek court approval of up to $10 million in fees without opposition from Facebook.
Judge Koh recused herself from the case one day before the motion for preliminary approval of the settlement was to be heard. The case was reassigned to Judge Richard G. Seeborg. In August 2012, Judge Seeborg heard the motion, and denied it. Seeborg took issue with the "propriety of a settlement that provides no monetary relief directly to class members", how the parties arrived at a payment of $10 million, and the "clear sailing" provision allowing Plaintiffs attorneys to request up to $10 million from the court, unopposed by Facebook.
The parties revised the settlement, addressing the Judge's primary concerns regarding how the settlement amount was determined, removing the "clear sailing" agreement provision such that Facebook could now oppose Plaintiff attorneys' fee request, and, significantly, included clearer language regarding the ability of minors, as well as their parents, to prevent minors from appearing in advertisements.
Facebook agreed to a deal in which they would:
• Provide a mechanism whereby users can discover if they are appearing in Sponsored Stories advertisements
• Provide a mechanism whereby users can prevent the future appearance in advertisements by that advertiser
• Give parents control over whether their minor children appear in any advertisements at all
• Give minors the ability to completely opt out of all advertisements while they are minors• Allow affected users to file a claim that may result in an award of $10
|On December 3, 2012, Judge Richard Seeborg preliminarily approved the Amended Settlement Agreement submitted by the parties. The Court held a Fairness Hearing in San Francisco on June 28, 2013. Subsequently, Judge Seeborg approved the Final Approval of Settlement Agreement, and each Claimant who filed a Claim is receiving $15.|
|Frisby v. Schultz||Frisby v. Schultz, 487 U.S. 474 (1988)||United States||true||US Supreme Court||Constitution - Amendment I||Frisby v. Schultz, 487 U.S. 474 (1988), was a case in which the Supreme Court of the United States upheld the ordinance by the town of Brookfield, Wisconsin, preventing protest outside of a residential home. In a 6–3 decision, the Court ruled that the First Amendment rights to freedom of assembly and speech was not facially violated. The majority opinion, written by Justice Sandra Day O'Conner, concluding that the ordinance was constitutionally valid because it was narrowly tailored to meet a "substantial and justifiable" interest in the state; left open "ample alternative channels of communication"; and was content-neutral.||In the Milwaukee, Wisconsin suburb of Brookfield, Sandra C. Schultz and Robert C. Braun protested abortion by picketing outside the home of a doctor who performed abortions. The pair picketed on at least six occasions in April and May 1985, for between 60 and 90 minutes each time, with a group of protesters that ranged in size from 11 to more than 40. The picketing was "generally orderly and peaceful"—the town did not invoke ordinances on street obstructions, loud noises, or disorderly conduct—but "generated substantial controversy and numerous complaints."
In response, Brookfield Town Board enacted an ordinance restricting picketing in residential neighborhoods, except for labor picketing. The town later realized the Supreme Court had struck down a similar ordinance in Carey v. Brown, 447 U.S. 455 (1980), as a violation of the Equal Protection Clause, of the Fourteenth Amendment since it "makes an impermissible distinction between peaceful labor picketing and other peaceful picketing." As a result, the town repealed its ordinance and passed a new ordinance banning all residential picketing: "It is unlawful for any person to engage in picketing before or about the residence or dwelling of any individual in the Town of Brookfield." The ordinance stated that its main purpose was to protect and preserve the home and assure "that members of the community enjoy in their homes and dwellings a feeling of well-being, tranquility, and privacy." The Town Board also found that "the practice of picketing before or about residences and dwellings causes emotional disturbance and distress to the occupants ... and has as its object the harassing of such occupants." Justice Sandra Day O'Connor wrote the majority opinion in the 6–3 decision. Chief Justice William Rehnquist, and Justices Harry Blackmun, Antonin Scalia, and Anthony Kennedy joined in the majority opinion.The majority held that public streets are a "traditional public forum" for purposes of forum analysis, despite the fact that the residential streets specifically at issue here were physically narrow. The Court thus acknowledged that "the antipicketing ordinance operates at the core of the First Amendment." Nevertheless, the majority held that the ordinance prohibiting the protest of residential houses did not violate the First Amendment because it is "content neutral," "leaves open ample alternative channels of communication," and serves a "significant government interest."With respect to alternative channels of communication, the Court noted that the Brookfield ordinance did not prohibit protestors from entering residential neighborhoods, marching, canvassing, leafleting, or telephoning.
|The Court also found that the government had a significant interest in "the protection of residential privacy." Citing cases such as Rowan v. United States Post Office Department, FCC v. Pacifica Foundation, and Kovacs v. Cooper, the Court found that "a special benefit of the privacy all citizens enjoy within their own walls, which the State may legislate to protect, is an ability to avoid intrusions." The Court distinguished its prior decisions invalidating "complete bans on expressive activity" in residential areas, such as Schneider v. New Jersey and Martin v. City of Struthers, stating that in these cases, "we have been careful to acknowledge that unwilling listeners may be protected when within their own homes." The Court also found that the ordinance was narrowly tailored at the specific problem it intended to address: situations in which "the resident is figuratively, and perhaps literally, trapped within the home, and, because of the unique and subtle impact of such picketing, is left with no ready means of avoiding the unwanted speech."|
|Gonzales v. Carhart||Gonzales v. Carhart, 550 U.S. 124 (2007)||United States||true||US Supreme Court||Constitution - Amendment XIV|
Constitution - Amendment V
Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act
|Gonzales v. Carhart, 550 U.S. 124 (2007), was a landmark decision of the US Supreme Court that upheld the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003. The case reached the high court after U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales appealed a ruling of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit in favor of LeRoy Carhart that struck down the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act. Also before the Supreme Court was the consolidated appeal of Gonzales v. Planned Parenthood from the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which had struck down the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act.||In 2003, Congress passed and the President signed the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act. The controversial concept of partial-birth abortion is defined in the Act as any abortion in which the death of the fetus occurs when "the entire fetal head (...) or (...) any part of the fetal trunk past the navel is outside the body of the mother." Dr. Leroy Carhart and other physicians who perform late-term abortions sued to stop the Act from going into effect. The plaintiffs argued that the Act could apply to a more common abortion procedure known as "D&E" ("dilation and evacuation"), as well as to the less common "intact D&E," sometimes called D&X ("dilation and extraction"). With this application the Act would ban most late-term abortions and thus be an unconstitutional "undue burden" on the right to an abortion, as defined by the Supreme Court in Planned Parenthood v. Casey. The plaintiffs also argued that the Act's lack of an exception for abortions necessary to protect the health of the mother rendered it unconstitutional under the Supreme Court's decision in Stenberg v. Carhart, regardless of Congress's finding in the Act that partial-birth abortions are never medically necessary. A federal District Court agreed and ruled the Act unconstitutional on both grounds. The government appealed to the Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. The government argued that the Act only bans a narrow category of abortion procedures, and that a health exception is not required when Congress determines that a banned abortion procedure is never necessary for the health of the mother. The Eighth Circuit disagreed and upheld the District Court, ruling that a health exception is required for all bans on abortion procedures when "substantial medical authority" supports the necessity of the procedure. The Circuit Court ruled that the ongoing disagreement among medical experts over the necessity of intact D&E abortions was sufficient to establish that the Act was unconstitutional without a health exception. The Circuit Court did not reach the question of whether the Act was so broad as to qualify as an unconstitutional "undue burden."||The Court ruled by a 5-4 vote that Congress's ban on partial-birth abortion was not unconstitutionally vague and did not impose an undue burden on the right to an abortion. Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the opinion for the majority. The Court held that, under the most reasonable interpretation, the Act applies only to the intact D&E method (also known as "partial-birth abortion") and not to the more common D&E procedure. The Act's application was limited by provisions that restrict enforcement to cases where the physician intends to perform an intact D&E and delivers the still-living fetus past specific "anatomical landmarks." Because the majority found that the Act applies only to a specific method of abortion, it held that the ban was not unconstitutionally vague, overbroad, or an undue burden on the decision to obtain an abortion. The Court also held that Congress, after finding intact D&E never to be medically necessary, could validly omit a health exception from the ban, even when "some part of the medical community" considers the procedure necessary. To require the exception whenever "medical uncertainty" exists would be "too exacting a standard to impose on the legislative power (...) to regulate the medical profession." The Court left open the possibility that an as-applied challenge could be brought against the Act if it were ever applied in a situation in which an intact D&E was necessary to preserve a woman's health. Justice Ginsburg's dissent disputed the majority's claim that the opinion was consistent with the Casey and Stenberg precedents and said "The Court's hostility to the right Roe and Casey secured is not concealed."|
|Griswold v. Connecticut||Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479 (1965)||United States||true||US Supreme Court||Constitution - Amendment XIV||Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479 (1965), was a landmark decision of the US Supreme Court in which the Court ruled that the Constitution of the United States protects the liberty of married couples to buy and use contraceptives without government restriction. The case involved a Connecticut "Comstock law" that prohibited any person from using "any drug, medicinal article or instrument for the purpose of preventing conception." The court held that the statute was unconstitutional, and that "the clear effect of (the Connecticut law ...) is to deny disadvantaged citizens ... access to medical assistance and up-to-date information in respect to proper methods of birth control." By a vote of 7–2, the Supreme Court invalidated the law on the grounds that it violated the "right to marital privacy", establishing the basis for the right to privacy with respect to intimate practices. This and other cases view the right to privacy as a right to "protection from governmental intrusion."||The issue was whether the Constitution protects the right of marital privacy against state restrictions on a couple's ability to be counseled in the use of contraceptives. In 1879, Connecticut passed a law that banned the use of any drug, medical device, or other instrument in furthering contraception. A gynecologist at the Yale School of Medicine, C. Lee Buxton, opened a birth control clinic in New Haven in conjunction with Estelle Griswold, who was the head of Planned Parenthood in Connecticut. They were arrested and convicted of violating the law, and their convictions were affirmed by higher state courts. Their plan was to use the clinic to challenge the constitutionality of the statute under the Fourteenth Amendment before the Supreme Court.||A right to privacy can be inferred from several amendments in the Bill of Rights, and this right prevents states from making the use of contraception by married couples illegal.
In a 7-2 decision authored by Justice Douglas, the Court ruled that the Constitution did in fact protect the right of marital privacy against state restrictions on contraception. While the Court explained that the Constitution does not explicitly protect a general right to privacy, the various guarantees within the Bill of Rights create penumbras, or zones, that establish a right to privacy. Together, the First, Third, Fourth, and Ninth Amendments create the right to privacy in marital relations. The Connecticut statute conflicted with the exercise of this right and was therefore held null and void.
Justice Goldberg, joined by Justices Warren and Brennan, concurred. Rather than finding that the right to privacy was contained in imaginary penumbras, Goldberg located it in the Ninth and Fourteenth Amendments.
Justice Harlan concurred, arguing that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment protects the right to privacy.
Justice White concurred, arguing that the Fourteenth Amendment was the proper basis for the decision.
Justice Black, joined by Justice Stewart, dissented. Unpersuaded by the loose reasoning of the majority, Black felt that there was no way to infer that the Constitution contained a right to privacy. He also dismissed the views of the concurrences that it could be found in the Ninth and Fourteenth Amendments.Justice Stewart, joined by Justice Black, filed a separate dissenting opinion. Stewart argued that despite his personal view that the law was "uncommonly silly," he felt that the Court had no choice but to find it constitutional.
|H. L. v. Matheson||H. L. v. Matheson, 450 U.S. 398 (1981)||United States||true||US Supreme Court||H. L. v. Matheson, 450 U.S. 398 (1981), was a United States Supreme Court abortion rights case, according to which a state may require a doctor to inform a teenaged girl's parents before performing an abortion or face criminal penalty.||A female minor, known by her initials H.L., was living in Utah with her parents when she became pregnant in 1978. A doctor advised H.L. that an abortion would be in her best medical interests. A Utah law enacted in 1974 required abortion providers to "notify, if possible" the parents of any female under the age of majority who is scheduled to undergo an abortion, at least 24 hours before the abortion. Violation was a misdemeanor subject to a fine up to $1000 and/or several months imprisonment. H.L. initiated a lawsuit as part of a proposed class action of unmarried unemancipated females, arguing that Utah's parental notification statute was unconstitutional. Scott M. Matheson, then the governor of Utah, was named as the defendant.||The case made its way to the Utah Supreme Court, where the law was upheld as consistent with Roe v. Wade (1973). The judgment noted, among other points, that H.L.'s proposed class action was overly broad; and that the Utah statute mandated parental notification but did not grant parents authority to stop such an abortion. The case was appealed to the Supreme Court of the United States of America. Utah's statute was upheld on a 6 to 3 vote.|
|Hepting v. AT&T||Hepting v. AT&T||United States||true||US Supreme Court||Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978||Hepting v. AT&T is a United States class action lawsuit filed in January 2006 by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) against the telecommunications company AT&T, in which the EFF alleges that AT&T permitted and assisted the National Security Agency (NSA) in unlawfully monitoring the communications of the United States, including AT&T customers, businesses and third parties whose communications were routed through AT&T's network, as well as voice over IP telephone calls routed via the Internet.||The case is separate from, but related to, the NSA warrantless surveillance controversy, in which the federal government agency bypassed the courts to monitor U.S. phone calls without warrants. Hepting v. AT&T does not include the federal government as a party.
In July 2006, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California—in which the suit was filed—rejected a federal government motion to dismiss the case. The motion to dismiss, which invoked the state secrets privilege, had argued that any court review of the alleged partnership between the federal government and AT&T would harm national security.
The case was immediately appealed to the Ninth Circuit. It was dismissed on June 3, 2009, citing retroactive legislation in the FISA Amendments Act. On October 9, 2012, the Supreme Court of the United States declined to review Hepting. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, however, vowed to continue working on a similar case, Jewel v. NSA.
It is alleged in the lawsuit that in 2002-2003, AT&T permitted and assisted the NSA to install a NarusInsight system in its San Francisco switching center (Room 641A), which was capable of monitoring billions of bits of Internet traffic a second, including the playback of telephone calls routed on the Internet, and thus in effect spying upon the entirety of the communication of many or all American citizens and businesses who use the Internet.
A former AT&T engineer, Mark Klein, attested that a supercomputer built by Narus was installed for the purpose, and that similar systems were also installed in at least Seattle, San Jose, Los Angeles and San Diego.
The EFF alleges in the suit that AT&T also allowed the NSA to data-mine hundreds of terabytes of client records which included detailed transaction records such as domestic numbers dialed since 2001, and all Internet addresses visited, as well as other content.
AT&T objected to the filing of the documents supporting the case on the grounds they were trade secrets or might compromise the security of its network. The EFF speculated that the federal government would invoke the state secrets privilege to bar the entire lawsuit from being heard, but added: "If state secrecy can prevent us from preserving the rights of millions upon millions of people, then there is a profound problem with the law."
EFF's speculation proved accurate when the government indicated, in an April 28 statement of interest in the case, that it intended to invoke the state secrets privilege in a bid to dismiss the action. The Justice Department filed its motion to dismiss on May 15, 2006.
On July 20, however, Chief Judge Vaughn Walker of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California rejected the federal motion, holding that "the government has opened the door for judicial inquiry by publicly confirming and denying material information about its monitoring of communications content."In his decision not to dismiss the case Judge Walker certified the case for immediate appeal, and the government and AT&T both appealed to the Ninth Circuit. The case was argued in August 2007.
|In July 2008, Congress passed, and on July 10, 2008, President George Bush signed, the FISA Amendments Act, which granted retroactive immunity to telecommunications companies for past violations of FISA. Before any Ninth Circuit decision, the case was returned to the District Court "in light of the FISA Amendments Act of 2008." In September 2008, Attorney General Michael Mukasey filed a certification pursuant to Section 802 of the FISAAA and the government moved to dismiss the Hepting litigation.
The Hepting plaintiffs opposed the motion to dismiss, asserting that the FISA Amendments Act's retroactive immunity provision was unconstitutional. Judge Walker heard oral arguments on December 2, 2008, and took the matter under submission.
The case was dismissed on June 3, 2009 by Judge Walker, citing retroactive legislation (section 802 of FISA) stating that in the case of a covered civil action, the assistance alleged to have been provided by the electronic communication service provider was in connection with an intelligence activity involving communications that was authorized by the President during the period beginning on September 11, 2001, and ending on January 17, 2007; designed to detect or prevent a terrorist attack, or activities in preparation for a terrorist attack, against the United States; and the subject of a written request or directive, or a series of written requests or directives, from the Attorney General or the head of an element of the intelligence community (or the deputy of such person) to the electronic communication service provider indicating that the activity was authorized by the President; and determined to be lawful.The case went under review in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals by a three judge panel (Harry Pregerson, Michael Daly Hawkins, and M. Margaret McKeown). The argument was heard in Seattle, Washington on August 31, 2011. It was dismissed on December 29, 2011, and some issues in the case were submitted as a petition for certiorari to the Supreme Court on March 30, 2012. The Supreme Court, however, declined to review the lower court ruling on the case on October 9, 2012, closing the door on further appeals.
|Hoang v. Amazon.com, Inc.||Hoang v. Amazon.com, Inc. et al.||United States||Washington||true||UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON AT SEATTLE||Constitution - Amendment I||Hoang v. Amazon.com, Inc. et al. (initially filed as Doe v. Amazon.com, Inc. et al.) is a lawsuit brought by actress Junie Hoang in October 2011 against IMDb.com and its parent company Amazon.com for revealing her true date of birth, which she said opened her up to age discrimination. In March 2013, all of her claims against Amazon and all but one of her claims against IMDb were dismissed, and in April 2013, a jury found that IMDb was not liable for the remaining claim for breach of contract; the verdict was upheld on appeal.||Hoang, whose real name is Huong Hoang (Vietnamese Hoàng Hương), is a Vietnamese-American actress. She had small parts in films such as Gingerdead Man 3: Saturday Night Cleaver, Hoodrats 2: Hoodrat Warriors, and My Big Phat Hip Hop Family, as well as guest roles on television series such as I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant.
In October 2011, Hoang filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington against the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) and its parent company Amazon.com, alleging that IMDb had accessed her account information to obtain her true birth date (July 16, 1971), then displayed it as part of the information on her entry as an actress. Her complaint alleged that the use of her account information was wrongful and that publication of the information would cause her to suffer age discrimination in casting.
Hoang's lawsuit was originally filed under the name "Jane Doe", but in December 2011, U.S. District Judge Marsha J. Pechman in Seattle dismissed the original lawsuit with leave to refile under her own name, saying the actress had no grounds to proceed with an anonymous complaint. On January 6, 2012, Hoang refiled, revealing her name.
In March 2013, Judge Pechman granted Amazon's motion for summary judgment, releasing it from the case; and IMDb's motion for summary judgment on Hoang's Washington state's Consumer Protection Act claim and emotional distress claims. The case went to trial on April 9, 2013 on the remaining cause of action, IMDb's alleged breach of contract, with IMDb as the sole defendant. On April 11, 2013, a federal jury in Seattle rejected the breach of contract claim.
In May 2013, Hoang filed a notice of appeal in the case. Hoang's opening brief was filed on October 30, and IMDb's answering brief was filed December 24; Hoang voluntarily dismissed Amazon.com from the appeal on November 4. Hoang's reply brief was filed February 3, 2014.
There were two motions made to file amicus curiae briefs in support of Hoang; one by four screenwriters David Ransil, Brad Markowitz, Steven Tag Mendillo and Mark Lisson on November 20; and one by the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) and the Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) on November 25. Both motions were denied, because they did not address the ground on which Hoang had appealed.
Oral argument in the case was held in Seattle on February 6, 2015. The Ninth Circuit panel was composed of circuit judges Carlos T. Bea and Mary H. Murguia, and district judge William H. Orrick III, sitting by designation.
On March 27, 2015, the Ninth Circuit panel unanimously affirmed the decision in favor of IMDb.Two actors' unions, SAG and AFTRA, supported Hoang, saying that IMDb was "facilitating age discrimination".
|After the lawsuit was decided, the unions pressed the California legislature to enact legislation requiring Internet sites to remove birth dates and ages of entertainers upon their request. The legislature enacted the law, Assembly Bill 1687, in September 2016 In February 2018, U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria struck down the law as violating the First Amendment. In June 2020, the Ninth Circuit affirmed Chhabria's judgement, holding that the statute was an unconstitutional content-based restriction that violated the First Amendment.|
|Hodgson v. Minnesota||Hodgson v. Minnesota, 497 U.S. 417 (1990)||United States||Washington||true||US Supreme Court||Minn.Stat. § 144.343||Hodgson v. Minnesota, 497 U.S. 417 (1990), was a United States Supreme Court abortion rights case that dealt with whether a state law may require notification of both parents before a minor can obtain an abortion. The law in question provided a judicial alternative.||The case concerned a Minnesota law. The law required notice to both parents of a minor before she could undergo an abortion; it also contained a judicial bypass provision designed to take effect only if a court found one to be necessary. Dr. Jane Hodgson, a Minneapolis gynecologist, challenged the law. The Eighth Circuit had ruled that the law would be unconstitutional without a judicial bypass, but that the bypass provision saved it.
While Justice Stevens delivered a majority opinion for one of the holdings, there were five votes for each of two holdings, with Justice O'Connor proving as the decisive vote for each. Justices Stevens, Brennan, Marshall, Blackmun and O'Connor formed a majority holding that the two-parent notice requirement by itself was unconstitutional. Justice O'Connor believed that the two-parent requirement entailed risk to a pregnant teenager; she also argued that the rule failed to meet even the lowest standard of judicial review, a rationality standard. She joined the Court's more conservative Justices (Chief Justice Rehnquist and Justices White, Scalia and Kennedy), to form a majority for the law being valid with the judicial bypass; Justice Kennedy had pointed out the usefulness of the bypass procedure, as judges granted all but a handful of requests to authorize abortions without parental notice.The ruling struck down the two-parent notification requirement, the majority citing an APA brief asserting that one-parent families are common in that state and that within the state, a minor often only needs one parent's permission for certain health needs; the rest of the statute, though, was voted constitutional because of its allowance for judicial bypass.
|Marshall, joined by Brennan and Blackmun, wrote a separate opinion that stated that the presence of a judicial bypass procedure made the entire law constitutional. Scalia, too, wrote a separate opinion arguing that the subject of abortion did not fall under the purview of the Court and should not be dealt with by any courts at all. Regardless, the Supreme Court decision under the second set of circumstances, taking into consideration the judicial bypass procedure, established that states could require the notification of both parents of a minor prior to the minor receiving an abortion as long as the state allowed for a judicial bypass. As a result of the US Supreme Court decision in Hodgson v. Minnesota, the Minnesota statute requiring a physician to notify both parents of a minor prior to performing an abortion was enforced. The enforcement changed the ability of minors to access abortion services and required physicians to notify both parents of a minor forty-eight hours prior to performing an abortion.|
|In re Anonymous Online Speakers||Anonymous Online Speakers v. United States District Court for the District of Nevada, 611 F.3d 653 (2010)||United States||false||United States District Court for the District of Nevada||Constitution - Amendment I||In the case, the plaintiff, Quixtar, Inc., the successor to the well-known Amway Corporation, sued Signature Management TEAM, LLC., claiming that TEAM orchestrated an Internet smear campaign via anonymous postings and videos disparaging Quixtar and its business practices.||Plaintiff, Quixtar, is a multilevel marketing business that distributes consumer products such as cosmetics and nutritional supplements through independent business owners. Defendant TEAM, founded by two former Quixtar independent business owners, provides business training and support materials and has sold its products, including motivational literature and educational seminars, to Quixtar independent business owners.
TEAM and Quixtar have been embroiled in several lawsuits across the country. In this suit, Quixtar asserts claims against TEAM for tortious interference with existing contracts and with tortious interference with advantageous business relations, among other claims. The tortious interference claims are premised on Quixtar's contention that TEAM used the Internet to carry out a smear campaign with the objective and effect of inducing Quixtar independent business owners to terminate their contracts with Quixtar and join a competing multilevel marketing company affiliated with TEAM.
During discovery, a deposition was taken of Benjamin Dickie, a TEAM employee, regarding the identity of five anonymous online speakers who allegedly made defamatory statements about Quixtar. Dickie refused to identify the anonymous speakers on First Amendment grounds. Quixtar brought a motion to compel to have the five online speakers identified because they believe that the speakers are actually TEAM employees, officers, or agents.Upon review of the specific statements from each source, the district court ordered Dickie to testify regarding his knowledge of the identity of the anonymous online speakers from three of the five sources.
|The Ninth Circuit decided to lower the standard a plaintiff must meet to compel identification of anonymous posters on the Internet. Moreover, The Ninth Circuit decided that the nature of the speech should determine the standard used to protect online speakers and their speech. In other words, the Circuit classified Internet postings and video content as commercial speech|
|In re Application of the United States for Historical Cell Site Data||In re Application of the United States for Historical Cell Site Data, 724 F.3d 600 (5th Cir. 2013)||United States||true||United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit||Stored Communications Act|
Constitution - Amendment IV
|In re Application of the United States for Historical Cell Site Data, 724 F.3d 600 (5th Cir. 2013), was a case in which the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held that the government can access cell site records without a warrant. Specifically, the court held that court orders under the Stored Communications Act compelling cell phone providers to disclose historical cell site information are not per se unconstitutional.||In early October 2010, the United States filed three applications under § 2703(d) of the Stored Communications Act ("SCA"), 18 U.S.C. §§ 2701-2712, seeking evidence relevant to three separate criminal investigations. Each application requested a court order to compel the cell phone service provider for a particular cell phone to produce sixty days of historical cell site data and other subscriber information for that phone. The Government requested the same cell site data in each application: "the antenna tower and sector to which the cell phone sends its signal." It requested this information for both the times when the phone sent a signal to a tower to obtain service for a call and the period when the phone was in an idle state.1 In re Application of the United States for Historical Cell Site Data, 747 F.Supp.2d 827, 829 (S.D.Tex.2010).
For each application, the magistrate judge granted the request for subscriber information but denied the request for the historical cell site data, despite finding that the Government's showing met the "specific and articulable facts" standard set by the SCA for granting an order to compel the cell site data. Shortly thereafter, the magistrate judge invited the Government to submit a brief justifying the cell site data applications. Four days after the Government submitted its brief, the magistrate judge issued a written opinion taking judicial notice of a host of facts about cell phone technology, primarily derived from the testimony of a computer science professor at a congressional hearing, but also including information from published studies and reports and service provider privacy policies. He concluded his opinion by declaring that, based on these facts viewed in light of Supreme Court precedent, "compelled warrantless disclosure of cell site data violates the Fourth Amendment." Id. at 846.
The Government filed objections with the district court to the magistrate judge's ruling on the constitutionality of the SCA and his judicial notice of facts. Although there was no party adverse to the Government's ex parte application, the ACLU and Electronic Frontier Foundation ("EFF"), among others, participated as amici curiae. As part of its submissions, the Government provided the court with additional evidence in the form of an affidavit from one of the service providers detailing its cell site records. After the parties submitted their briefs, the district judge issued a single-page order. He concluded:
When the government requests records from cellular services, data disclosing the location of the telephone at the time of particular calls may be acquired only by a warrant issued on probable cause. The records would show the date, time called, number, and location of the telephone when the call was made. These data are constitutionally protected from this intrusion. The standard under the Stored Communications Act is below that required by the Constitution.The Government appealed once again, and the ACLU and EFF,2 along with Professor Orin Kerr and others, requested and were granted leave to participate as amici.
|The district court held that compelled disclosure of cell site information violates the Fourth Amendment.
The court reached three legal conclusions. First, it held that cell site information reveals non-public information about constitutionally protected spaces. Specifically, it held that cell site information could reveal whether an item or a person was in an individual's home at a particular time, which the Supreme Court held in United States v. Karo to be protected under the Fourth Amendment.
Second, it held that Fourth Amendment protections apply to cell site information because it can reveal sensitive personal information over time. The court based this ruling on United States v. Maynard, in which the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit held that "prolonged surveillance reveals types of information not revealed by short-term surveillance, such as what a person does repeatedly, what he does not do, and what he does ensemble." (The Supreme Court later affirmed Maynard on narrower grounds in United States v. Jones, 565 U.S. ___ (2012).Third, it held that users do not voluntarily convey cell site information to their mobile providers. The government argued that cell site information is not entitled to Fourth Amendment protections, citing Supreme Court cases holding that law enforcement does not need a warrant to access information voluntarily disclosed to third parties. The court disagreed, holding that cell phone users' disclosure of location information is "unknowing" and "inadvertent."
|In re DoubleClick||In Re DoubleClick Inc. Privacy Litigation, 154 F. Supp. 2d 497 (S.D.N.Y. 2001)||United States||New York||true||United States District Court for the Southern District of New York||Stored Communications Act|
Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968
Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986
|In re DoubleClick Inc. Privacy Litigation, 154 F. Supp. 2d 497 (S.D.N.Y. 2001) ("DoubleClick"), had Internet users initiate proceedings against DoubleClick, alleging that DoubleClick's placement of web cookies on computer hard drives of Internet users who accessed DoubleClick-affiliated web sites constituted violations of three federal laws: The Stored Communications Act, the Wiretap Statute and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.||DoubleClick, a Delaware corporation, is the largest provider of Internet advertising products and services in the world. Its Internet-based advertising network of over 11,000 Web publishers has enabled DoubleClick to become the market leader in delivering online advertising. DoubleClick specializes in collecting, compiling and analyzing information about Internet users through proprietary technologies and techniques, and using it to target online advertising. DoubleClick has placed billions of advertisements on its clients' behalf and its services reach the majority of Internet users in the United States.
Although a comprehensive description of the Internet is unnecessary to address the issues raised in this motion, a rudimentary grasp of its architecture and engineering is important. The Internet is accurately described as a "network of networks." Computer networks are interconnected individual computers that share information. Anytime two or more computer networks connect, they form an "internet." The "Internet" is a shorthand name for the vast collection of interconnected computer networks that evolved from the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network ("ARPANet") developed by the United States Defense Department in the 1960's and 1970's. Today, the Internet spans the globe and connects hundreds of thousands of independent networks.
The World Wide Web ("the Web" or "WWW") is often mistakenly referred to as the Internet. However, the two are quite different. The Internet is the physical infrastructure of the online world: the servers, computers, fiber-optic cables and routers through which data is shared online. The Web is data: a vast collection of documents containing text, visual images, audio clips and other information media that is accessed through the Internet. Computers known as "servers" store these documents and make them available over the Internet through "TCP/IP" (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol), a set of standard operating and transmission protocols that structure the Web's operation. Every document has a unique "URL" (Universal Resource Locator) that identifies its physical location in the Internet's infrastructure. Users access documents by sending request messages to the servers that store the documents. When a server receives a user's request (for example, for Lycos.com's home page), it prepares the document and then transmits the information back to the user.
The Internet utilizes a technology called "packet switching" to carry data. Packet switching works as follows. The computer wishing to send a document ("originating computer"), such as a music file or digital image, cuts the document up into many small "packets" of information. Each packet contains the Internet Protocol ("IP") address of the destination Web site, a small portion of data from the original document, and an indication of the data's place in the original document. The originating computer then sends all of the packets through its local network to an external "router." A router is a device that contains continuously-updated directories of Internet addresses called "routing tables." The router takes each packet from the original document and sends it to the next available router in the direction of the destination Web site. Because each router is connected to many other routers and because the connection between any two given routers may be congested with traffic at a given moment, packets from the same document are often sent to different routers. Each of these routers, in turn, repeats this process, forwarding each packet it receives to the next available router in the direction of the destination Web site. Collectively, this process is called "dynamic routing."The result is that packets of information from the originating computer may take entirely different routes over the Internet (i.e., traveling over different routers and cables) to their ultimate destination. Obviously, the packets arrive out of their original order because some have been forced to take much longer or slower routes between the originating and destination computers. However, because each packet *502 contains code that identifies its place in the original document, the destination computer is able to reassemble the original document from the disorganized packets. At that point, the destination computer sends a message back to the originating computer either reporting that it received the full message, or requesting that the originating computer re-send any packets that never arrived. This entire process typically occurs in a matter of seconds. Packet-switching technology and dynamic routing have helped to give the Internet's infrastructure its extraordinary efficiency and resiliency.
|The court held that DoubleClick was not liable under any of the three federal laws because it fell within the consent exceptions under the Stored Communications Act and the Wiretap Statute. DoubleClick was not excluded from the consent exception of the Wiretap Statute because it did not intercept the communications for criminal or tortious purposes. DoubleClick was also not liable under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act because the plaintiffs had failed to meet the statutory threshold of $5,000 in losses. The court established that damages under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act may only be aggregated for the unauthorized access of each cookie.
DoubleClick engaged in behavioral targeting and placed a cookie on each user's computer hard drive when the user accessed DoubleClick-affiliated web sites. DoubleClick was then able to track the users' web surfing activities and build user profiles for the purposes of delivering targeted advertisements.
|Jewel v. NSA||Jewel v. National Security Agency||United States||California||false||US Northern District of California||Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA PATRIOT ACT) Act of 2001||Jewel v. National Security Agency is a United States class action lawsuit filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) against the National Security Agency (NSA) and several high-ranking officials in the administration of 43rd U.S. President George W. Bush, charging an "illegal and unconstitutional program of dragnet communications surveillance".||The case was filed on behalf of Carolyn Jewel and several other AT&T customers on September 18, 2008, and is based on documentation provided by former AT&T technician Mark Klein.
The case was dismissed on January 21, 2010, by U.S. District Court Chief Judge Vaughn Walker, who concluded that the plaintiffs lacked legal standing because their claims amounted to a "general grievance" against the government. On appeal, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated the case on December 29, 2011. NSA whistleblower William Binney testified in July 2012 in support of the EFF that the NSA was "purposefully violating the Constitution". On July 8, 2013, Judge Jeffrey White of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California declined to dismiss the lawsuit under the state secrets privilege. Later in 2013 the court ordered the government to explain the effects of intelligence leaks about the NSA's surveillance activities, primarily by Edward Snowden, on the national security impact of the case. The NSA reasserted the state secrets privilege on December 20, 2013, and declassified portions of its assertions of the state secrets privilege the following day.
On March 10, 2014, Judge White imposed a temporary restraining order, requiring the NSA and other parties to halt the destruction of evidence until a final resolution of the case. On June 5, 2014, the EFF filed a motion for an emergency hearing requesting that the court enforce this temporary restraining order after discovering that the government had continued the destruction of evidence. A motion filed by the government claimed that doing so would have severe consequences "including the possible suspension of the Section 702 program and potential loss of access to lawfully collected signals intelligence information on foreign intelligence targets".
On February 10, 2015, Judge White dismissed a challenge by the plaintiffs of the constitutionality of the UPSTREAM data collection program. The court ruled that the challenge would require the "impermissible disclosure of state secret information", and also ruled that the plaintiffs did not have standing to pursue their claims. The court did not rule on the constitutionality of the NSA's collection of Internet and phone content. Judge White also wrote that some of the EFF's factual allegations about the program were not correct, but did not identify any specific inaccuracies.On May 19, 2017, Judge White ordered the government to provide "all relevant evidence necessary to prove or deny that plaintiffs were subject to NSA surveillance via tapping into the Internet backbone".
|Joffe v. Google, Inc.||Joffe v. Google, Inc. 729 F.3d 1262 (9th Cir. 2013)||United States||true||United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit||Stored Communications Act|
Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968
|Joffe v. Google, Inc. is a federal lawsuit between Ben Joffe and Google, Inc.. Joffe claimed that Google broke one of the Wiretap Legislation segments when they intruded on the seemingly "public" wireless networks of private homes through their Street View application. Although Google tried to appeal their case multiple times, the courts favored Joffe's argument. Ultimately the Supreme Court declined to take the case, affirming the decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit that the Wiretap Act covers the interception of unencrypted Wi-Fi communications.||In 2007, Google launched its Street View project, an addendum to the Google Maps feature which captured street-level images from various cities in the US and around the world. Street View vehicles had the ability to intercept and store a vast amount of Wi-fi data from nearby home network due to the intricate technological set up Google created in order to take the pictures in the first place. Google acknowledged in May 2010 that its Street View vehicles had been collecting fragments of payload data from unencrypted Wi-fi networks. This also included any information connected to the internet which was hacked, such as personal emails and passwords. In total Google collected about 600 gigabytes of information from 30 different countries. The Joffe v. Google court case was filed on in November 2010, when Ben Joffe called out Street View for breaching the Wiretap Legislation Act. Joffe, representing the voice of the complainants, configured that Google ruptured the Act, which regulates the collection of actual content of wire and electronic communications and prohibits the intentional interception, use, or disclosure of wire and electronic communications unless a statutory exception applies. The extensive procedure that involved an appeal by Google lasted until the conclusion in June 2013. The federal wiretap statute requires someone to get a wiretap order before they monitor or record an individual's or company's communication. It regulates the collection of actual content of wire and electronic communication. Under the act it is illegal to intentionally or purposefully: 1.Intercept, disclose, or use the contents of 2.Any wire, oral, or electronic communication
August 2010 cases were transferred to the judicial panel on a multi-district litigation to the Northern District of California . In 2013, Google tried to appeal the case and the court of appeal stood by their original decision because Google is not exempt from the Wire Tap Law. On September 10, 2013, the case entered federal judgment by A. Wallace Tashima, Jay S. Bybee and William H. Stafford, Jr.. It was affirmed by Judge: JSB Authoring. May 16, 2013 the case was filed and the hearing began. Attorney Michael H. Rubin represented the appellant Google. The trial takes place in San Francisco, the hometown of Google Corporations. Several punitive class actions lawsuits were filed shortly after.Google attempted to appeal to the United States Supreme Court, however, it declined to hear the case thus ultimately affirming the District's Court decision.
|The court held that Google’s collection of data from unencrypted Wi-Fi networks via its Street View photography cars was not protected by the federal Wiretap Act’s exemption for an “electronic communication” that is “readily accessible to the general public.”|
|Katz v. United States||Katz v. United States, 389 U.S. 347 (1967)||United States||true||U.S. Supreme Court||Constitution - Amendment IV||Katz v. United States, 389 U.S. 347 (1967), was a landmark decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in which the Court redefined what constitutes "searches" and "seizures" with regard to the protections of the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.||Charles Katz was a resident of Los Angeles, California, who had long been involved in sports betting. By the mid-1960s, he had become "probably the preeminent college basketball handicapper in America." In February 1965, Katz on several occasions used a public telephone booth near his apartment on Sunset Boulevard to provide his gambling handicaps to bookmakers in Boston and Miami. Unbeknownst to him, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had begun investigating his gambling activities and was recording his conversations via a covert listening device attached to the outside of the phone booth. After recording a number of his phone calls, FBI agents arrested Katz and charged him with eight counts of knowingly transmitting wagering information over the telephone between U.S. states, which is a federal crime under 18 U.S.C. § 1084.
Katz was tried in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California. Katz's lawyer made a motion to have the court suppress the FBI's recordings as evidence, arguing that because the FBI agents did not have a search warrant allowing them to place their listening device, the recordings had been made in violation of the Fourth Amendment. The judge denied his motion and ruled that the recordings were admissible, and Katz was convicted based on them.
Katz appealed his conviction to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. In November 1966, the Ninth Circuit affirmed Katz's conviction, ruling that because the FBI's eavesdropping device did not physically penetrate the telephone booth's wall, no Fourth Amendment search occurred, and so the FBI did not need a search warrant to place the device.Katz then appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which agreed to hear his case and ordered certiorari. On December 18, 1967, the Supreme Court issued a 7–1 decision in favor of Katz that invalidated the FBI's wiretap and overturned Katz's conviction.
|The decision expanded the Fourth Amendment's protections from the right of search and seizures of an individual's "persons, houses, papers, and effects", as defined in the Constitution, to include "what a person seeks to preserve as private, even in an area accessible to the public" as a constitutionally protected area.|
|Klayman v. Obama||Klayman v. Obama||United States||true||US District Court||Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978|
Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA PATRIOT ACT) Act of 2001
Constitution - Amendment IV
|The plaintiffs, subscribers of Verizon Wireless, brought suit against the NSA,the DOJ, President Obama, Attorney General Holder, General Keith Alexander, and Verizon Communication. The plaintiffs allege that the government is conducting a "secret and illegal government scheme to intercept vast quantities of domestic telephonic communications"||On June 5, 2013, the Guardian first published an order from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), which required Verizon to produce all domestic telephone call detail records to the National Security Agency ("NSA") on an ongoing basis. This collection was not based on any particularized suspicion of wrongdoing, all call records were collected in bulk from Verizon every day. Specifically, the FISA order required that Verizon turn over “all call detail records or 'telephony metadata' created by Verizon for communications (i) between the United States and abroad; or (ii) wholly within the United States, including local telephone calls.” Once revealed, the government confirmed the existence of the Verizon order and of the telephone metadata program.
Congress enacted the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) in 1978 following the discovery by the Church Committee of decades of domestic surveillance by the Intelligence Community. The Act prohibited domestic surveillance except with the approval of a newly created court, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC). Under the FISA, the FISC could only grant orders if the government established probable cause to believe that the target of surveillance was foreign powers or agents of a foreign power.
However, Congress modified the FISA in the 2001 USA PATRIOT and the 2006 Patriot Act Reauthorization. Specifically, Congress authorized the FBI in Section 215 to apply for a FISC order compelling businesses to produce "tangible things" relevant to an authorized investigation to protect against international terrorism. Section 215 provided that businesses who received these orders could challenge them in the FISC. We now know that the FISC has since 2006 issued orders that require major telephone companies, like Verizon, to provide all telephone call detail records to the NSA.In this case, the Plaintiff, a Verizon Wireless customer, brought suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of D.C., alleging that the government is conducting a "secret and illegal scheme to intercept and analyze vast quantities of domestic telephone communications and of communications from the Internet and electronic service providers." The Plaintiff sought a preliminary injunction requiring the NSA to stop collecting his telephone call detail records. The court granted the Plaintiff's preliminary injunction, finding that the program likely violated the Fourth Amendment, but subsequently stayed the decision pending review by the D.C. Circuit.
|On December 16, 2013, US Federal Judge Richard J. Leon ruled that bulk collection of American telephone metadata likely violates the Constitution of the United States. The judge wrote, "I cannot imagine a more 'indiscriminate' and 'arbitrary' invasion than this systematic and high-tech collection and retention of personal data on virtually every single citizen for purposes of querying and analyzing it without prior judicial approval ... Surely, such a program infringes on 'that degree of privacy' that the founders enshrined in the Fourth Amendment."|
|Kyllo v. United States||Kyllo v. United States, 533 U.S. 27 (2001)||United States||United States Department of the Interior||true||United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit||Constitution - Amendment IV||Kyllo v. United States, 533 U.S. 27 (2001), held in a 5–4 decision that the use of a thermal imaging, or FLIR, device from a public vantage point to monitor the radiation of heat from a person's home was a "search" within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment, and thus required a warrant.||On January 16, 1992, the United States Department of the Interior used a thermal imaging device outside of Danny Lee Kyllo's home in Florence, Oregon. According to the District Court that presided over Kyllo's evidentiary hearing, the device could not "penetrate walls or windows to reveal conversations or human activities. The device recorded only heat being emitted from the home." The device showed that there was an unusual amount of heat radiating from the roof and side walls of the garage compared with the rest of his house. (The assumption is that to grow marijuana indoors, one needs to provide a large amount of light in order for the plants to photosynthesize.) This information was subsequently used to obtain a search warrant, where federal agents discovered over 100 marijuana plants growing in Kyllo's home. Kyllo was charged with growing marijuana in his Oregon home. Kyllo first tried to suppress the evidence obtained from the thermal imaging search, but then he pleaded a conditional guilty.
Kyllo appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on the grounds that observations with a thermal-imaging device constituted a search under the Fourth Amendment. After issuing and withdrawing multiple opinions, on September 9, 1999, the Ninth Circuit upheld admission of the evidence, in an opinion by Judge Michael Daly Hawkins joined by Melvin T. Brunetti, with John T. Noonan Jr. dissenting.
Kyllo then petitioned the Supreme Court for a writ of certiorari, which was granted.The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that the thermal imaging of Kyllo's home constituted a search. Since the police did not have a warrant when they used the device, which was not commonly available to the public, the search was presumptively unreasonable and therefore unconstitutional. The majority opinion argued that a person has an expectation of privacy in his or her home and therefore, the government cannot conduct unreasonable searches, even with technology that does not enter the home. Justice Scalia also discussed how future technology can invade on one's right of privacy and therefore authored the opinion so that it protected against more sophisticated surveillance equipment. As a result, Justice Scalia asserted that the difference between "off the wall" surveillance and "through the wall" surveillance was non-existent because both methods physically intruded upon the privacy of the home. Scalia created a "firm but also bright" line drawn by the Fourth Amendment at the "'entrance to the house.'" This line is meant to protect the home from all types of warrantless surveillance and is an interpretation of what he called "the long view" of the Fourth Amendment. The dissent thought this line was "unnecessary, unwise, and inconsistent with the Fourth Amendment" because according to Scalia's previous logic, this firm but bright line would be defunct as soon as the surveillance technology used went into general public use, which was still undefined.
|Where, as here, the Government uses a device that is not in general public use, to explore details of a private home that would previously have been unknowable without physical intrusion, the surveillance is a Fourth Amendment "search," and is presumptively unreasonable without a warrant.|
|Laird v. Tatum||Laird v. Tatum, 408 U.S. 1 (1972)||United States||true||US Supreme Court||Constitution - Amendment I||Laird v. Tatum, 408 U.S. 1 (1972), was a case in which the United States Supreme Court dismissed for lack of ripeness a claim in which the plaintiff accused the U.S. Army of alleged unlawful "surveillance of lawful citizen political activity." The appellant's specific nature of the harm caused by the surveillance was that it chilled the First Amendment rights of all citizens and undermined that right to express political dissent.||Arlo Tatum, the executive secretary of the Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors, sued Melvin Laird, the Secretary of Defense. Tatum sued after Washington Monthly published an article revealing that US military intelligence units were gathering intelligence on civilians and civil organizations in the US.
The Court was initially divided into three camps. Justices Rehnquist and Powell initially urged the conservatives to determine that the surveillance program was constitutional. However, Chief Justice Burger, and Justices Blackmun and White determined that it would be more controversial for the Court to enter into a political question." After further reflection Powell concluded that it was unwise to rule on the constitutionality of the surveillance program and that the issue was best decided on the principle of ripeness. That is, in the absence of a discernable injury, the issue was too speculative for the Court to rule upon. Burger eventually prevailed on Rehnquist to abandon a concurrence and join with the majority.
The Court determined that the plaintiff's claim was based on the fear that sometime in the future the Army might cause harm with information retrieved during their surveillance, but that there was no present threat. Therefore, the claim was too "speculative."
Mr. Justice Douglas wrote in dissent, with Mr. Justice Marshall concurring:This case involves a cancer in our body politic. It is a measure of the disease which afflicts us. Army surveillance, like Army regimentation, is at war with the principles of the First Amendment. Those who already walk submissively will say there is no cause for alarm. But submissiveness is not our heritage. The First Amendment was designed to allow rebellion to remain as our heritage. The Constitution was designed to keep government off the backs of the people. The Bill of Rights was added to keep the precincts of belief and expression, of the press, of political and social activities free from surveillance. The Bill of Rights was designed to keep agents of government and official eavesdroppers away from assemblies of people. The aim was to allow men to be free and independent and to assert their rights against government. There can be no influence more paralyzing of that objective than Army surveillance. When an intelligence officer looks over every nonconformist's shoulder in the library, or walks invisibly by his side in a picket line, or infiltrates his club, the America once extolled as the voice of liberty heard around the world no longer is cast in the image which Jefferson and Madison designed, but more in the Russian image.
|Respondents' claim that their First Amendment rights are chilled due to the mere existence of this data-gathering system does not constitute a justiciable controversy on the basis of the record in this case, disclosing as it does no showing of objective harm or threat of specific future harm.|
|Lawrence v. Texas||Lawrence et al. v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558 (2003)||United States||Texas||ACLU||true||CERTIORARI TO THE COURT OF APPEALS OF TEXAS, FOURTEENTH DISTRICT||Constitution - Amendment XIV||Lawrence et al. v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558 (2003), was a landmark decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in which the Court ruled that U.S. laws prohibiting private homosexual activity between consenting adults are unconstitutional. The Court reaffirmed the concept of a "right to privacy" that earlier cases, such as Roe v. Wade, had found the U.S. Constitution provides, even though it is not explicitly enumerated. The Court based its ruling on the notions of personal autonomy to define one's own relationships and of American traditions of non-interference with private sexual decisions between consenting adults.||In 1998, John Geddes Lawrence Jr. was arrested along with an acquaintance at his apartment in Harris County, Texas, when sheriff's deputies found them engaging in sexual intercourse. Lawrence and his partner, Tyron Garner, were charged with a misdemeanor under Texas' anti-sodomy law; both pleaded no contest and received a fine. Assisted by the American civil rights organization Lambda Legal, Lawrence and Garner appealed their sentences to the Texas Courts of Appeals, which ruled in 2000 that the sodomy law was unconstitutional. Texas appealed to have the court rehear the case en banc, and in 2001 it overturned its prior judgment and upheld the law. Lawrence appealed this decision to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, which denied his request for appeal. Lawrence then appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which agreed to hear his case.
The Supreme Court struck down the sodomy law in Texas in a 6–3 decision and, by extension, invalidated sodomy laws in 13 other states, making same-sex sexual activity legal in every U.S. state and territory. The Court, with a five-justice majority, overturned its previous ruling on the same issue in the 1986 case Bowers v. Hardwick, where it upheld a challenged Georgia statute and did not find a constitutional protection of sexual privacy. It explicitly overruled Bowers, holding that it had viewed the liberty interest too narrowly. The Court held that intimate consensual sexual conduct was part of the liberty protected by substantive due process under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Lawrence invalidated similar laws throughout the United States that criminalized sodomy between consenting adults acting in private, whatever the sex of the participants.
The case attracted much public attention, and many amici curiae ("friends of the court") briefs were filed. Its outcome was celebrated by gay rights advocates, and set the stage for further reconsideration of standing law, including the landmark case of Obergefell v. Hodges which recognized same-sex marriage as a fundamental right under the United States Constitution.
Legal punishments for sodomy often included heavy fines, prison sentences, or both, with some states, beginning with Illinois in 1827, denying other rights, such as suffrage, to anyone convicted of the crime of sodomy. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, several states imposed various eugenics laws against anyone deemed to be a "sexual pervert". As late as 1970, Connecticut denied a driver's license to a man for being an "admitted homosexual".
As of 1960, every state had an anti-sodomy law. In 1961, the American Law Institute's Model Penal Code advocated the repeal of sodomy laws as they applied to private, adult, consensual behavior. Two years later the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) took its first major case in opposition to these laws. Most judges were largely unsympathetic to the substantive due process claims raised.
In Griswold v. Connecticut (1965), the Supreme Court struck down a law barring the use of contraceptives by married couples. In Griswold, the Supreme Court recognized for the first time that couples, at least married couples, had a right to privacy, drawing on the Fourth Amendment's protection of private homes from searches and seizures without a warrant based on probable cause, the Fourteenth Amendment's guarantee of due process of law in the states, and the Ninth Amendment's assurance that rights not specified in the Constitution are "retained by the people". Eisenstadt v. Baird (1972) expanded the scope of sexual privacy rights to unmarried persons. In 1973, the choice whether to have an abortion was found to be protected by the Constitution in Roe v. Wade.
In Bowers v. Hardwick (1986), the Supreme Court heard a constitutional challenge to sodomy laws brought by a man who had been arrested, but was not prosecuted, for engaging in oral sex with another man in his home. The Court rejected this challenge in a 5 to 4 decision. Justice Byron White's majority opinion emphasized that Eisenstadt and Roe had only recognized a right to engage in procreative sexual activity, and that long-standing moral antipathy toward homosexual sodomy was enough to argue against the notion of a right to sodomy. Justice Blackmun, writing in dissent, argued that Eisenstadt held that the Constitution protects people as individuals, not as family units. He then reasoned that because state intrusions are equally burdensome on an individual's personal life regardless of his marital status or sexual orientation, there is no reason to treat the rights of citizens in same-sex couples any differently.
By the time of the Lawrence decision, ten states—Alabama, Florida, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Michigan, Utah and Virginia—still banned consensual sodomy without respect to the sex of those involved, and four—Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma and Missouri—prohibited same-sex couples from engaging in anal and oral sex.On June 26, 2003, the Supreme Court issued a 6–3 decision in favor of Lawrence that struck down Texas's statute. Five justices held it violated the Due Process Clause, while a sixth, Sandra Day O'Connor, held it violated the Equal Protection Clause.
|A Texas law criminalizing consensual, adult homosexual intercourse violates the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. In a 6-3 opinion delivered by Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, the Court held that the Texas statute making it a crime for two persons of the same sex to engage in certain intimate sexual conduct violates the Due Process Clause. After explaining what it deemed the doubtful and overstated premises of Bowers, the Court reasoned that the case turned on whether Lawrence and Garner were free as adults to engage in the private conduct in the exercise of their liberty under the Due Process Clause. "Their right to liberty under the Due Process Clause gives them the full right to engage in their conduct without intervention of the government," wrote Justice Kennedy. "The Texas statute furthers no legitimate state interest which can justify its intrusion into the personal and private life of the individual," continued Justice Kennedy. Accordingly, the Court overruled Bowers. Justice Sandra Day O'Connor filed an opinion concurring in the judgment. Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia, with whom Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and Justices Thomas joined, filed dissents.|
|Mancusi v. DeForte||Mancusi v. DeForte, 392 U.S. 364 (1968)||United States||true||US Supreme Court||Constitution - Amendment IV||Mancusi v. DeForte, 392 U.S. 364 (1968), is a decision of the United States Supreme Court on privacy and the Fourth Amendment. It originated in the lower courts as United States ex rel. Frank DeForte, appellant v. Vincent R. Mancusi, Warden of Attica Prison, Attica, New York, appellee, a petition for a writ of habeas corpus by a prisoner who had exhausted all his state appeals. By a 6–3 margin the Court affirmed the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit's reversal of a district court denial of the petition.||The prisoner, Frank DeForte, was one of several labor union officials on Long Island who had been convicted of racketeering-related charges connected to a scheme in which they attempted to monopolize the juke box market in the New York Metropolitan area. Early in the investigation, local prosecutors had issued a subpoena duces tecum for records from the union officials. When they refused to comply, the prosecutors went to the union offices themselves and seized the records from the officials' desks themselves. DeForte had been present and voiced his objections. The state later admitted the action was illegal but the documents, which formed the bulk of the case against the officials, were not suppressed at trial. Both the state's appellate court and the New York State Court of Appeals sustained the verdict, and all the defendants went to prison. There they began filing habeas petitions to the federal courts. The first, alleging that the court's orders to the jury to continue deliberating after they had done so for almost 24 hours and twice asked for a break constituted coercion, was denied.
DeForte's second, arguing as he had at trial and on his state appeal, that the search of his desk violated his reasonable expectation of privacy and thus his Fourth Amendment rights, was the one the Supreme Court heard. Justice John Marshall Harlan II wrote for the majority that under the Court's recent holding in Katz v. United States, DeForte had a reasonable expectation of privacy over the papers he kept at work even though they were not his personal property and he shared the office with his co-defendants. Nor did the subpoena authorize the prosecutor to act as he might with a search warrant, since the subpoena was not subject to independent judicial review before its execution. In dissent, Hugo Black, who had also dissented in Katz, said he could not find why the Court chose to depart from previous holdings that documents in the possession of one's employer enjoyed no Fourth Amendment protection, and was misreading the cases it relied on.The case is seen as a seminal case in privacy law, since it extended it for the first time to a non-residential space. Lower courts have used it to guide them in distinguishing Fourth Amendment claims into the present day. The Supreme Court has, in later holdings, extended it to include public employees during administrative investigations and considered its application in the context of modern telecommunications.
|For most of American history the Fourth Amendment's requirement that the people "be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures" was taken to apply strictly only to their physical bodies and real property they had an ownership interest in. Advances in communications technology at the start of the Information Age would challenge that. In the 1928 case Olmstead v. United States the Court upheld a bootlegging conviction that relied solely on transcripts of telephone conversations that had been obtained through warrantless wiretapping of the defendants' telephone lines, an action illegal under Washington state law.
The majority held that since the Prohibition agents had not actually trespassed on the bootleggers' property to place the wiretaps, the Fourth Amendment had not been violated, and that the language of the amendment in any event referred only to material things. One of the dissenting justices, Louis Brandeis, wrote a frequently quoted opinion arguing that the Fourth Amendment protected not just those rights associated with property but "the right to be let alone", speculating that future technological advances might be yet more intrusive.The Court announced its decision in June 1968, near the end of the term. By a 6–3 vote, they affirmed the appeals court. Justice John Marshall Harlan II wrote for the majority that the union records had been improperly seized. Hugo Black, the only dissenter in Katz, wrote for himself and Potter Stewart that the majority had retreated from previous holdings for no clear constitutional reason. Byron White wrote a single-sentence dissent.
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