Well, that is an understatement. However, one of the proposed bills targets speech — speech which was specifically the subject of successful litigation of which I was a direct part of the legal team. In approximately 2008, Jack Stelmack served as an elementary school principal in Lakeland, Florida. Without getting too deeply into my belief that Stelmack was completely innocent, Polk County-based prosecutors successfully prosecuted Stelmack for child pornography charges — but relating to simulated child porn. Now, in this case, the images in question stemmed from a nude, adult female body being pasted (and I mean the Elmer’s glue variety) to the hea
Grateful acknowledgment to Harvey Kaye and New Deal 2.0: http://www.newdeal20.org/2011/02/24/when-fdr-came-to-wisconsin-to-fight-the-kochs-and-walkers-of-1934-36890/ As many of you know, The Brett Law Firm Blog serves a dual purpose: (1) Discussion of legal issues; and (2) Discussion of political economic issues. The ongoing fight of public employees cuts across both areas. The current threat from reactionary governors and legislators, such as Scott Walker (WI), Mitch Daniels (IN) and John Kasich (OH), is dead real and dead serious. As a labor attorney, and a citizen concerned with the continued viability of our progressive democracy and economy are in jeopardy.
First, I will, for once, quote Ronald Reagan, who stated that “one of the most elemental human rights [is] the right to belong to a free trade union.” See http://blog.buzzflash.com/node/12392 for more on Reagan’s commentary. We are presently witnessing an unprecedented assault upon workers’ rights to organize and collectively bargain. The assault is occurring most directly in long-time labor states, such as Wisconsin, Ohio and Indiana. Fortunately, these efforts to turn back the clock by over one-hundred years is not going unchallenged. Brave teacher, fire fighters, police officers, and other public employees are staging a vigorous fight t
Last evening, I was fulfilled by the opportunity of being a special guest lecturer at an ACLU function. The principal topic of the discussion was Free Speech on the Internet. Also, I did not realize — until after the lecture — that there was an extraordinarily special guest in the audience. Bernard Cohen approached me following my remarks, and complimented me on the content and manner of the presentation. This comes as high praise — Attorney Cohen was the crusader who represented Mildred and Richard Loving in the seminal Supreme Court case of Loving v. Virginia. For those unfamiliar with the important scope of the Loving case, please read here:
In all of the recent hubbub within my practice — including some travel — I neglected to acknowledge the exciting surrounding the Food Not Bombs appeal before an en banc panel of the Eleventh Circuit. Following a good result from the District Court that granted injunctive relief versus the City of Halifax’s ordinance that severely restricting sharing food with the homeless in Downtown parks, the original three-judge panel at the 11th Circuit surprisingly (by a 2-1 margin) reversed — thus yielding a victory for the City. Is vindication on the way? The 11th Circuit then order en banc consideration — this occurred last Tuesday among 11 judg
Full credit to Orrin Kerr at SCOTUS Blog: http://www.scotusblog.com/2011/02/the-strange-case-of-ashcroft-v-al-kidd/: The Petitioner in this case is John Ashcroft, the former Attorney General, who is represented by the Department of Justice (DOJ). The Respondent is Abdullah Al-Kidd, a person who was detained under the material witness statute, who is represented by the ACLU. Al-Kidd has sued John Ashcroft under the Fourth Amendment for Ashcroft’s policy of using the material witness statute for purposes of national security detention. Ashcroft has denied that the Fourth Amendment was violated, and he has raised both qualified and absolute immunity defenses against liab
Special mention the Adjunct Law Professors’ Blog for calling attention to this recent federal decision. Honestly, I have a bit of a problem with this from a constitutional perspective. I believe that this does raise serious due process questions. I cannot embrace this differentiation between the rights of custodial vs. non-custodial parents. The U.S. Supreme Court, in the Newdow decision, wielded such an artificial distinction to deny the non-custodial parent from presenting his case — a case that he had previously prevailed upon in the lower courts. Yes, I do understand the need to safeguard the children. However, when did the primary, custodial paren
Acknowledgment to Simon Lazarus and ACSBlog: http://www.acslaw.org/acsblog/node/18344. Next, a quick apology to my burgeoning group of blog readers: for the past week, I have been working non-stop on several issues that temporarily detracted from my blog posts. I am hopeful that this delay on new postings is an irregular occurrence. That being said, please read the following posting by Mr. Lazarus, revealing the significance of DOJ’s recent Motion to Clarify in the federal case challenging the constitutionality of the health care reform law. As regular readers of this blog can tell you, I have been a vocal critic of District Court Judge Vinson’s (N.D.
Here’s what the NLRB sent out about its revised website: The National Labor Relations Board today announced the launch of a new agency website that is more flexible, timely, easy to navigate, and useful to a variety of audiences, from practitioners to first-time visitors. The redesigned and re-imagined site, at www.nlrb.gov, builds on an overarching effort toward greater transparency and efficiency at the NLRB, which enforces federal labor laws covering most private sector employment. Among highlights of the new site: More case information is available more quickly than ever before. All Board decisions are now posted to the site at the time they are issued, rather th