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Fifth Amendment

We Must Fix This Major Glitch in Constitutional Law Immediately

Seth Abramson | Posted 11.11.2015 | Crime
Seth Abramson

#BlackLivesMatter is a just and vital political tool in the fight against police brutality. The problem is that it reduces to a matter of race a series of legal scenarios that are about race but also -- in addition -- a problem with the Fourth and Fifth Amendments that prosecutors and judges have done nothing whatsoever to remedy.

How a Nevada Commission Bullied UFC's Nick Diaz Out of the Ring

Amy Dardashtian | Posted 09.25.2015 | Sports
Amy Dardashtian

Whether Diaz used marijuana or not the night of the fight, the man is entitled to a fair hearing free from snickering and prejudicial questioning. He should have the opportunity to exercise his constitutional rights without being punished for it.

Anti-Abortion Corporations Are Not People, Cannot Plead The Fifth

The Huffington Post | Philip Lewis | Posted 09.18.2015 | Politics

A judge in the U.S District Court for the Northern District of California has ruled that the organization behind undercover videos targeting Planned ...

Durst's Apparent Confession to Murder: To Be or Not to Be

Steven Brill | Posted 06.06.2015 | Crime
Steven Brill

Although there are some questions about Durst's meaning and mental state, the prejudice does not substantially outweigh its probative value of the statements. And as for the meaning, each side is free to argue their interpretation.

Is Forced Quarantine for Ebola Legal?

Peter Van Buren | Posted 12.28.2014 | Politics
Peter Van Buren

Is it legal for a state (or the federal) government to detain and quarantine you against your will for health reasons? Yes. Has this sort of thing been done before? Yes. Will it be effective? No. Is it just a political ploy to garner votes from a panicked public? Oh my yes.

Can the US Seize Would-Be Jihadis' Passports?

Peter Van Buren | Posted 12.14.2014 | Politics
Peter Van Buren

The idea of limiting an American citizen's travel proactively, on the assumption that she or he will end up fighting with ISIS based on documents or web postings, scrapes at liberty, even if the tools are there and it is legal to use them.

Dead Is Dead: Drone-Killing the Fifth Amendment

Peter Van Buren | Posted 09.23.2014 | Politics
Peter Van Buren

Looking back on the violations of justice that characterized British rule in pre-Constitutional America, it is easy to see the Founders' intent in creating the Fifth Amendment. A government's ability to inflict harm on its people, whether by taking their lives, imprisoning them, or confiscating their property, was to be checked by due process.

Tsarnaev's Friends Seek Constitutional Rights

Martin Zabell | Posted 07.31.2014 | Crime
Martin Zabell

The United States will be riveted on Dzokhar Tsarnaev when he goes on trial on Nov. 3, 2014, for allegedly murdering three people and injuring 264 on April 15, 2013, when he and his brother Tamerlan allegedly placed two bombs near the finish line of that day's Boston Marathon. Legal experts and scholars, though, might conclude that the first Boston Marathon bombing trial is more legally significant.

The Bridge Scandal and the Fifth Amendment

Laurent Sacharoff | Posted 05.13.2014 | Politics
Laurent Sacharoff

Beyond the immediate politics (and entertainment value), the scandal raises one of the most nettlesome areas of criminal law: when does the Fifth Amendment protect documents?

Obama Administration Treats Antique Collectors and Dealers as Criminals: New Ivory Rules Also Put Elephants at Increased Risk

Doug Bandow | Posted 04.26.2014 | Politics
Doug Bandow

The mass killing of elephants is tragic. But demand for new ivory, not items legally imported decades or centuries ago, fuels the trade. Governments should penalize poachers and their seller allies -- not responsible collectors and dealers who have followed the rules.

Drone Killing the Fifth Amendment

Peter Van Buren | Posted 04.19.2014 | Politics
Peter Van Buren

It's still possible to remember, almost nostalgically, how the Fifth Amendment used to guarantee Americans due process. The key phrase was indeed that "due process."

If Obama Orders the CIA to Kill a U.S. Citizen, Amazon Will Be a Partner in Assassination

Norman Solomon | Posted 04.14.2014 | Politics
Norman Solomon

President Obama is now considering whether to order the Central Intelligence Agency to kill a U.S. citizen in Pakistan. That's big news this week. But...

Can The Fifth Protect Bridgegate Emails?

Joel Cohen | Posted 04.09.2014 | Crime
Joel Cohen

As the eminent legal scholar John Henry Wigmore famously expressed, cross examination is "the greatest legal engine ever invented for the discovery of truth." But when it comes to emails or texts, they tend to speak for themselves.

Can a Journalist 'Plead the Fifth' to Avoid Having to Name a Confidential Source? A Federal Judge Says Yes

Peter Scheer | Posted 02.15.2014 | Media
Peter Scheer

This idea hasn't gotten much traction, until now: a federal judge in Michigan, in a civil suit against the Justice Department, ruled last month that a journalist could assert his fifth amendment right against self-incrimination in refusing to reveal a confidential source.

John Henry Browne Wants Prosecutors Off Robert Bales' Case

AP | GENE JOHNSON | Posted 10.13.2013 | Crime

JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash. — Lawyers for the American soldier convicted of killing 16 Afghan civilians during nighttime raids last year ask...

Organic Raisin Farmers Fight Back Against Big Ag, USDA

Zach Weissmueller | Posted 09.21.2013 | Politics
Zach Weissmueller

Every year, the Hornes plant seeds, tie vines, harvest fruit, and place grapes in paper trays to create sun-dried raisins. And every year, the federal government prevents them from bringing their full harvest to market.

The Supreme Court Has Just Stolen Our Golden Anniversary

James Heffernan | Posted 08.28.2013 | Comedy
James Heffernan

Now all our plans have been wrecked. How can we celebrate our Golden Anniversary when the Supreme Court of these United States has just made a grotesque mockery of marriage itself?

Why Doesn't the Public Get the Fifth Amendment?

Joel Cohen | Posted 08.05.2013 | Politics
Joel Cohen

Why did she have to be publicly drawn and quartered in the first place even though, to his credit, Chairman Issa didn't challenge her assertion of the fifth amendment and was ostensibly understanding of it under the circumstances?

I Hold This Truth to Be Self-Evident: A Student's Right to the Fifth Amendment

Rainesford Alexandra | Posted 08.04.2013 | Politics
Rainesford Alexandra

High school social studies teacher, John Dryden, was brought before the Batavia, Illinois school board after advising students about their Fifth Amendment rights.

Rudy Giuliani Should Know Better

Judge H. Lee Sarokin | Posted 07.24.2013 | Politics
Judge H. Lee Sarokin

After describing Rudy Giuliani as the "former Mayor of New York City, fifteen years in the Justice Department, U.S. attorney, associate attorney gener...

IRS Official Improperly Took The Fifth, Will Be Called Back To Testify

Reuters | Posted 07.23.2013 | Politics

WASHINGTON, May 23 (Reuters) - Republican U.S. Representative Darrell Issa said on Thursday he will call Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lern...

Take the Fifth

Jeff Danziger | Posted 07.23.2013 | Politics
Jeff Danziger


Taking the Fifth

Phyllis Chesler | Posted 07.22.2013 | Politics
Phyllis Chesler

Lois Lerner represents the power of the state. She is not taking a noble stand against unjust government authority -- she is protecting those who are even more powerful than herself. We should not see her as a brave "victim."

Miranda, McVeigh, and the Boston Marathon Bombing: Where's the Distinction?

Adam Banner | Posted 07.09.2013 | Crime
Adam Banner

When investigators had their answers and Tsarnaev had already incriminated himself, only then did they read him his rights. He immediately fell silent, protecting the rights previously denied him.

Attorney General Eric Holder: If the President Does It, It's Legal

John W. Whitehead | Posted 05.18.2013 | Politics
John W. Whitehead

It may be that the time has come to create a "non-political" and "independent" attorney general, one who would serve the interests of the public by upholding the rule of law rather than justifying the whims of the president.