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Author Archives: Ameer Benno

Rubin v. Islamic Republic of Iran — SCOTUS to weigh in on whether terror victims can collect on judgments against state-sponsors of terrorism

In September 1997, three Hamas suicide bombers entered a crowded pedestrian mall in Jerusalem and blew themselves up, killing and injuring many people. Eight plaintiffs – comprised of victims or family members of victims of the Jerusalem attack – filed suit against the Islamic Republic of Iran alleging liability on the basis that Iran’s government, […]

Second Circuit Denies Rehearing In U.S.S. Cole Case And Adheres To Decision That Service of Process on Sudanese Embassy in D.C. Is Sufficient For Personal Jurisdiction Under FSIA

This case — Harrison v. Republic of Sudan — arose from the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole in the port of Aden, Yemen, in 2000.  Sailors and spouses of sailors injured in the explosion brought suit against Sudan in the D.C. District Court under the terrorism exception to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, alleging that al Qaeda was […]

NINTH CIRCUIT RULES THAT INNOCENT BEHAVIOR IS SUSPICIOUS

In a recent court decision, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that a combination of non-suspicious driving characteristics can give rise to the suspicion of criminal activity sufficient to justify pulling over the motorist. A border patrol agent in a marked border patrol vehicle observed motorist Rufino Ignacio Valdes-Vega driving a […]

STATE OF MICHIGAN REJECTS “WAR SUX” LICENSE PLATE ON BASIS THAT VIEWING IT WOULD PHYSICALLY AND EMOTIONALLY HARM CHILDREN

In another awful example of government intrusion upon First Amendment freedoms, the state of Michigan is defending its rejection of an anti-war license plate, saying children riding in cars and playing in their yards need to be protected from seeing the words “WAR SUX.” Attorneys for the Michigan secretary of state’s office asked a judge […]

FEDERAL JUDGE RULES THAT FIRST AMENDMENT DOES NOT PROTECT MAN ACCUSED OF PLOTTING TO KIDNAP, RAPE AND KILL WOMEN

New Jersey resident Michael Van Hise, Stuyvesant High School librarian Robert Asch, Massachusetts Veterans Affairs police chief Robert Meltz allegedly chatted over the internet about kidnapping, raping and killing women – including Vanhise’s wife, his stepdaughter, his sister-in-law, and the sister-in-law’s minor children. According to this article: Vanhise was [already] tucked away in jail when undercover […]

SCHOOL BANS FIFTH GRADER FROM PUBLIC SPEECH COMPETITION BECAUSE HIS SPEECH IS ABOUT RELIGION — STUDENT TOLD TO “TAKE THE RELIGION OUT” OR DON’T COMPETE

Apparently, it’s not just institutions of “higher” learning that, although publicly claiming to exalt the robust exchange of ideas, actually seek to quash free expression if it embraces religion or, for that matter, endorses anything that might be considered not ”politically correct.” According to this article, when the fifth grader’s parents protested, the school postponed the competition “until parents signed […]

SCOTUS hears GPS case

Today the Supreme Court heard argument in U.S. v. Antoine Jones, on the issue of whether the 4th Amendment prohibits police officers from attaching a GPS device to a suspect’s vehicle without a warrant in order to track that person’s movements. I have mixed feelings.  On the one hand, this invasive practice is straight out of a […]

TWO FT. LAUDERDALE POLICE OFFICERS ARRESTED FOR SERIOUS MISCONDUCT

Two Ft. Lauderdale police department detectives have been arrested and charged with nearly twenty counts of racketeering, kidnapping, grand theft, extortion and official misconduct. A spokesman for the Broward County State Attorney said that Detectives Brian Dodge and Billy Koepke “were involved in an ongoing pattern of criminal conduct that focused on stealing money and […]

NY POLICE OFFICER PLEADS GUILTY TO OFFICIAL MISCONDUCT AFTER HAVING INAPPROPRIATE SEXUAL CONTACT WITH WOMAN DURING TRAFFIC STOP

According to the Wall Street Journal, prosecutors claimed that Police Officer Garrett Mannerz pulled over a car in East Meadow, summoned one of the car’s female passengers to his police car, and “coerced her into touching him sexually.” As reported by the WSJ, Mannerz let the car’s occupants go, but allegedly called one of them later for […]

NYPD DETECTIVE IS FOUND GUILTY OF PLANTING DRUGS

Check out the New York Times article HERE. According to the NYT, New York State Supreme Court Justice Gustin Reichbach, who presided over the criminal trial, “scolded the [NYPD] for what he described as a widespread culture of corruption endemic in its drug units,” and declared that “this court was shocked, not only by the seeming […]