U.S. Supreme Court: not a crime to record cops

The  U.S. Supreme Court Monday left in place a lower court ruling that prevented Illinois from prosecuting people under its Eavesdropping Act if they recorded police officers. A federal appeals court ruled the statute “likely violates” First Amendment rights.More.

And there’s this: “The ACLU of Illinois continues to believe that in order to make the rights of free expression and petition effective, individuals and organizations must be able to freely gather and record information about the conduct of government and their agents – especially the police.”

Supreme Court labels mandate a tax

Boy, the GOP just got pitched a big, fat softball.

From the WaPo: “The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the individual health-insurance mandate that is at the heart of President Obama’s landmark health-care law, saying the mandate is permissible under Congress’s taxing authority.

“The potentially game-changing, election-year decision — a major victory for the White House less than five months before the November elections –will help redefine the power of the national government and affect the health-care choices of millions of Americans.”

From SCOTUS Blog: “However, five Justices agreed that the penalty that someone must pay if he refuses to buy insurance is a kind of tax that Congress can impose using its taxing power.”

(Sorry. Having link issues.)

UPDATE: From the WaPo: “The court rejected Obama administration’s commerce-clause argument, but ruled 5-4 that Congress nevertheless ‘has the power to impose’ the individual mandate under its taxing authority. The provision ‘need not be read to do more than impose a tax,’ the opinion said. ‘This is sufficient to sustain it.’”

Pregnant woman Tasered over minor traffic violation loses high court appeal

The nation’s highest court decided yesterday it would not re-open the case of a pregnant woman tasered three times by Seattle, Washington police over a minor speeding infraction. The US Supreme Court denied the request of Officers Steven L. Daman, Juan Ornelas and Donald M. Jones who sought to overturn the March 2010 decision of the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit that the officers used excessive force on November 23, 2004 (view opinion).

That finding leaves officers vulnerable to a state suit, but motorist Malaika Brooks was equally upset with the appellate court’s finding that the officers were immune from liability for their actions.More. (Via The Humble Libertarian)

Judges behaving badly

Almost every American has an opinion about the new national health care law. Beginning Monday, nine will matter most.

Regrettably, those nine justices of the U.S. Supreme Court refused to allow the rest of us to watch as they begin making up their minds on whether this extensive law is constitutional. — More from the Omaha World-Herald Editorial.

Florida Times-Union: The U.S. Supreme Court needs to get with the modern times and allow broadcasts  of its proceedings.

Tampa Bay Times:  The U.S. Supreme Court justices apparently don’t trust themselves or the lawyers appearing before them to show restraint on live television and avoid a Judge Judy charade. If any issue before the court deserves live television coverage, it is the landmark health care legislation.

@HowardMortman: @SenGillibrand : “Supreme Court should allow cameras” http://cbsn.ws/GTansP

@HowardMortman: @senatorleahy  writes in @TheHill:  “Televising Supreme Court proceedings would help inform citizens” http://bit.ly/GT9Xm3 #SCOTUS