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Fifth Amendment

Dead Is Dead: Drone-Killing the Fifth Amendment

Peter Van Buren | Posted 07.24.2014 | 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

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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.

You Are Not a Person, Anwar al-Awlaki

Peter Van Buren | Posted 05.05.2013 | Politics
Peter Van Buren

If the government feels it is against its interest for you to have a passport and thus the freedom to travel, to depart the United States if you wish to, it will just take it away.

Two-Faced Freedom

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 04.16.2013 | Politics
David Katz, M.D.

The Founding Fathers allowed for the right to bear arms to be limited to the arms the majority want among us. They did not obligate us to tolerate arms in the hands of lunatics, arms designed for maximal carnage. But the NRA does.

The Founding Prophets

Emmett Rensin | Posted 03.04.2013 | Politics
Emmett Rensin

When we allow quoting the Constitution to stand in for a legitimate rebuttal, we diminish our ability to think critically about our nation and its laws.

Radley Balko

The Stop: Bad Cops, Drug Dogs and Trekkies Along I-70

HuffingtonPost.com | Radley Balko | Posted 12.15.2012 | Crime

(Photo by Billy Delfs) Last December, filmmaker Terrance Huff and his friend Jon Seaton were returning to Ohio after attending a "Star Trek" co...

The Sound of Silence

Gary Hart | Posted 08.04.2012 | Politics
Gary Hart

There is a constant chorus respecting the freedom of speech. Little is heard respecting the right to remain silent. But many more Americans remain silent than speak, for more reasons than we can count. All of which are fine, except silence conveys assent.

Terror Tuesdays, Kill Lists and Drones: Has the President Become a Law Unto Himself?

John W. Whitehead | Posted 08.20.2012 | Politics
John W. Whitehead

Now, once again, we find ourselves skating dangerously close to becoming a nation ruled not by laws but by men -- and fallible, imperfect men, at that. Yet this latest crisis did not happen overnight.