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Author Archives: Ameer Benno

CONFLICT OF INTEREST: MARINE CORPS LAWYERS SIMULTANEOUSLY SERVE AS PROSECUTORS AND DEFENSE ATTORNEYS

For several years, the Marine Corps has required its JAG lawyers to serve simultaneously as both prosecutors and defense counsel for those servicemen and women under court martial.  Under this practice, the Marine Corps transfers its attorneys from defense to prosecution; after Marine Corps defense attorneys become prosecutors, they reportedly are not permitted to prosecute the same defendants […]

IN SOME STATES, RECORDING POLICE MISCONDUCT ON YOUR PHONE WILL LAND YOU IN JAIL

In some states, such as Illinois, using the video camera on your cell phone to record police misconduct may violate the state’s eavesdropping laws, and land you in jail.  Of course, the inequity in this is apparent, since police departments routinely use video surveillance to record the public.  While doing so may help protect the community on the one hand, on […]

ALABAMA HIGH SCHOOL BANS STUDENT FROM WEARING T-SHIRT THAT READS “GAY? FINE BY ME.”

Officials at Hoover High School in Hoover, Alabama told a fifteen year-old student that she could no longer wear a t-shirt that reads, “Gay? fine by me.” According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, school officials claimed that they were concerned for the girl’s safety, but the student said she did not experience threats of violence, […]

NEW MEXICO STATE TROOPER CAUGHT ON SECURITY CAMERA HAVING SEX IN PUBLIC

A police officer in Santa Fe, New Mexico has been caught on security camera having sex in public with an unknown female.  The officer was in his uniform and was having sex with the female on the hood of a car in the middle of the day. Frankly, it’s a good thing this was captured by […]

COURT CLEARS WAY FOR TRIAL ON CLAIMS OF RACIAL PROFILING

Yesterday, a federal judge denied the majority of New York City’s motion for summary judgment on claims that the NYPD engages in the widespread pattern of unconstitutional stops and frisks of black and Latino men, and held that a jury must resolve whether the alleged pattern or practice was so common as to imply the acquiescence of senior […]

SCOTUS ASKED TO REVIEW “STOLEN VALOR ACT”

In 2010, the Ninth Circuit overturned the conviction of Xavier Alvarez under the Stolen Valor Act of 2005, finding that the Act, which made it a Federal crime to lie about having earned any U.S. Armed Forces medal, violated the First Amendment.  Alvarez was prosecuted after giving an address before a local government board he had been appointed […]

TEXAS JUDGE STRIKES DOWN PORTIONS OF ANTI-ABORTION LAW ON FIRST AMENDMENT GROUNDS

A federal judge in Texas struck down provisions of a Texas anti-abortion law that required doctors to describe sonogram images to their patients and requiring women to hear the descriptions before an abortion.  The law made exceptions for women who were willing to sign statements saying they were pregnant as a result of rape or incest […]

CITY OFFICIALS AGREE TO REWRITE ORDINANCE ALLOWING POLICE TO ARREST ALL THOSE WHO “OPPOSE” THEM

City officials in Rock Hill, South Carolina plan to rewrite a city law that makes it illegal to “oppose, resist, or interfere with any police officer in the discharge of the police officer’s official duties.”  As presently written, the law allows police to arrest someone for not obeying any police orders, irrespective of the legality of […]

WHICH IDENTICAL TWIN BROTHER DID THE SHOOTING?

Police in Chandler, Arizona thought they had the right guy in a fatal nightclub shooting, based on eyewitness accounts –  problematic enough even when the suspect’s identical twin brother is not also at the scene.  Now, after additional eyewitnesses came forward and claimed Brandon Nembhard was in fact the shooter, prosecutors have dropped the original charges against Orlando Nembhard without […]

TEXAS SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS TAX ON STRIP CLUBS DESPITE FIRST AMENDMENT CHALLENGE

On Friday, the Texas Supreme Court reversed the decisions of two lower courts and held that the Texas Sexually Oriented Business Fee Act does not violate the First Amendment.  That statute requires nightclubs, bars, restaurants, or other similar businesses that provide live nude entertainment and on-premises consumption of alcohol to pay a mandatory tax of $5 ”for each […]