The Supreme Court Just Made It Easier for Police to Arrest You for Filming Them

“On Tuesday, the Supreme Court invented a rule that will often allow police officers to arrest people in retaliation for disfavored speech without liability.”
Justice Stephen Breyer and Chief Justice John Roberts. Photo illustration by Slate. Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.
Justice Stephen Breyer and Chief Justice John Roberts. Photo illustration by Slate. Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.
“There is no evidence that Congress wanted the statute to be interpreted like this.”

“By enabling police officers to target viewpoints they dislike with near impunity, the decision could be catastrophic for protesters and the press. The justices, meanwhile, didn’t even try to ground their decision in the text or history of the statute they were interpreting. Instead, the court was surprisingly frank about its rationale: The justices simply don’t want police officers to have to defend themselves in court against these types of allegations.”

Continued: Supreme Court makes it easier for police to arrest you for filming them (Slate)

For related stories, see: http://police.truists.org/

 

Study: California’s Background-Check Law Had No Impact on Gun Deaths

Gun Control

The findings—which run counter to the conventional wisdom that gun control saves lives—have received almost no media attention.

“A joint study conducted by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the University of California at Davis Violence Prevention Research Program found that California’s much-touted mandated background checks had no impact on gun deaths, and researchers are puzzled as to why.

Despite the dismal record of gun control, expect the media and “experts” to use a repertoire of self-justifications rather than modify their beliefs—regardless of what the evidence shows…”

EPA May Finally Be Held Accountable for Mine Spill

“Criminal investigations into the Environmental Protection Agency’s disastrous handling of its Gold King Mine spill are under way. This is a laudable step toward accountability for the agency, which for one year has avoided accountability for conduct that would in all likelihood have resulted in criminal prosecution had the acts been performed by private parties.”

Continue reading: EPA May Finally Be Held Accountable for Mine Spill

City Council Terminates Police Force—Town Doesn’t Descend into Chaos

“The town of Galveston, Indiana just voted to terminate their police department and contrary to popular belief, chaos has not engulfed the city.”

“Galveston, Indiana is a small town and the likelihood of a crime wave bursting on to the scenes is rare regardless of police presence. However, we’ve seen similar situations involving millions. At the end of 2014, for example, the NYPD stopped doing its job after the murder of officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu and something amazing happened — crime went down…”

Continue reading: City Council Terminates Police Force — Town Doesn’t Descend into Chaos

Legal Experts Raise Alarm over Shocking Use of ‘Killer Robot’ in Dallas

“Dallas police sent in a drone (with wheels rather than wings) to blow up the suspect in yesterday’s tragic shooting. This is the first time a drone was used against Americans on US soil. He was a suspect and had not been convicted. Will this now become standard practice for our ever-more militarized police? Is it a slippery slope?”

Continue reading: Legal Experts Raise Alarm over Shocking Use of ‘Killer Robot’ in Dallas


Related articles:

For the First Time, Police Used a Bomb Robot to Kill

http://theantimedia.org/drone-used-kill-citizen/

A 19-year-old made a free robot lawyer that has appealed $3 million in parking tickets

“It’s a simple bot that helps with court appeals — but could it replace the need for human lawyers?”

“Since launching in late 2015, it has successfully appealed $3 million worth of tickets.”

Continue reading: A 19-year-old made a free robot lawyer that has appealed $3 million in parking tickets

State Trooper Gets Just 6 Months ‘Whenever’ for Raping a Crash Victim

“In a shocking plea deal, an Alabama state trooper accused of raping a woman who called for help after a car accident gets only 6 months in the slammer… permitted to serve his sentence “in increments at his own discretion.”

Continue reading: State Trooper Gets Just 6 Months For Raping Car Accident Victim

Police can use illegally obtained evidence in court, SCOTUS rules, sabotaging 4th Amendment

Sonia Sotomayor warned in a scathing dissent the Supreme Court’s pro-police ruling violates constitutional rights

“This case allows the police to stop you on the street, demand your identification, and check it for outstanding traffic warrants — even if you are doing nothing wrong”

Source: Police can use illegally obtained evidence in court, SCOTUS rules, sabotaging 4th Amendment

17 y/o girl faces fine for using pepper spray against sex attacker

“A Danish teenager who said she was sexually assaulted now faces a fine for using pepper spray against her attacker. The man who pulled her to the ground and tried to undress her fled the scene without any charges.”

Pepper Spray Photo

Source: Outrage in Denmark as 17yo girl faces fine for using pepper spray against sex attacker

Income Tax Declared Unconstitutional

The U.S. Supreme Court, in 1895, ruled unconstitutional a federal law containing income taxes, with arguments concerning class warfare and the definition of a direct tax.

Posted by William L. Wunder on Aug 3, 2008

Shareholders of corporations immediately sued to halt their corporations from paying the tax. The various cases were consolidated into Pollock v. Farmers’ Loan and Trust Co. and accepted by the Supreme Court in January 1895. The plaintiffs, represented by William D. Guthrie, George F. Edmunds, and Joseph Choate, claimed that the income tax would induce class warfare that would lead to “communism, anarchy, and then, the ever following despotism.”

Direct Tax and the Uniformity Clause

As for constitutional arguments, the plaintiffs insisted that the income tax was a direct tax- the law’s tax on real property was the equivalent of a property tax, which was a direct tax. According to Article I, Section 9 of the Constitution, “No capitation or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or Enumeration…” The plaintiffs claimed that the income tax wasn’t in proportion to the census and therefore it was unconstitutional.

Also, the plaintiffs used the uniformity clause of the Constitution. Article I, Section 8 states that “…all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States.” The plaintiffs charged that the vast majority of the affected taxpayers lived in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania. In addition, the tax was not uniform because it was imposed on some kinds of income.

The defense, represented by Richard Olney and James C. Carter, countered with precedent. They maintained that the income tax was not a direct tax. They cited the 1796 Supreme Court decision that upheld a carriage tax, clearly determining that direct taxes referred to only property. Other taxes upheld by the Supreme Court in the past included taxes on insurance companies and the Civil War income tax.

Another argument posed by the defense took on the plaintiffs’ issue of class warfare. According to Steven Weisman, Carter asserted that the best way to preserve private property was to relieve the masses of excessive tax burdens. The poor had paid more than their fair share through consumption taxes and tariffs and the income tax would act as a balance. The income tax would be a safety valve in an era of labor unrest.

Chief Justice Melville Fuller

The Court decided the case in April, a Court that believed “property was sacrosanct,” and “economic regulation was taboo,” according to writer Burt Solomon. Chief Justice Fuller, writing for the 5-3 majority, declared that income taxes on real estate was a direct tax and therefore unconstitutional. The majority also discarded the tax on interest from municipal bonds as an infringement on the states. However, with one justice absent, other issues in the case split 4-4 and the case was retried.

In May, with a full complement of justices, the Supreme Court threw out the entire Wilson-Gorman law by a 5-4 margin. Fuller, again for the majority, wrote that the unconstitutionality of the income tax on real estate scuttled the whole law, despite the possibility of some taxes, like wages, being constitutional. Dissenting, John Harlan stated that it was a dangerous precedent in ruling income taxes unconstitutional- it could open society to social unrest.

Both sides in Pollock v. Farmers’ Loan and Trust Co. feared that unrest if they didn’t prevail. And both couldn’t agree on the definition of a direct tax as written in the Constitution. What did become apparent, according to Harlan, was that a constitutional amendment allowing income taxes would be needed. That was for the future- the Sixteenth Amendment.

Sources

Solomon, Burt, FDR v. The Constitution, Walker: New York, 2009.

Weisman, Steven R., The Great Tax Wars, Simon and Schuster: New York, 2002.


Also see:

Today in History: Income Tax Ruled Unconstitutional in Pollock v. Farmers Loan Trust Co. | Tax Foundation | April 8, 2013

Supreme Court Case Pollock v. Farmer’s Loan and Trust Co. 1895