In perhaps a tiny but significant decision, an appeals court ruled federal authorities had shown "a profound lack of regard for the important limitations on the role of the military in our civilian society" when they allowed the U.S. Navy to scan the computers of every citizen in the state of Washington fishing for evidence.
The Supreme Court unanimously ruled today that police may not search information on an arrested suspect's cell phone without an additional search warrant. In two cases from both coasts, consolidated into a single opinion the Court held that the privacy interests in protecting the tremendous amount of personal information stored on cell phones outweighs the government's interest to its immediate access by police, even after a suspect is lawfully arrested. The cases decided today forced the Court to analyze a centuries-old constitutional amendment in light of modern technological advances.
On Monday the Supreme Court declined to consider Hedges v. Obama, a constitutional claim challenging a law that could enable the indefinite military detention of U.S. citizens -- within the U.S. -- without trial, charge, or evidence of crime. The decision is remarkable both for its implications for fundamental rights and for its reflection on judicial independence.
What if I told you that the most pertinent social science subject -- one that affects every single one of us every single day -- is taught to only a select few? That would be absurd, right? Well, unfortunately this is no fiction. It is the state of legal knowledge in America, and it is profoundly troubling.