Friday, August 29, 2008

Friday First Amendment Roundup: August 29, 2008

With apologies, this week's edition is going to be super-short; I'm just a bit too busy with the work they actually pay me for, but I'm stealing a few minutes because I don't want to let a week go by unnoticed.

The Second Circuit heard arguments this week in an ACLU suit opposing FBI National Security Letters and the gag orders placed on recipients of those letters.


Following the close of the Beijing Olympics, human rights groups are criticizing China's failure to keep promises of free speech and civil liberties protection, and are petitioning the IOC to require better free-speech assurances from future Olympic hosts.


The ACLU is suing the chief of police of Flint, Michigan (you may remember him for his opposition to baggy pants) over his order preventing Flint police from speaking with the media.


As the Democratic National Convention plays out this week, including a number of arrests of demonstrators, the mayor of Denver says he has worked to make his city as accessible as possible to protest groups.


Three journalists from New York, in Minneapolis ahead of the Republican Convention to document police conduct this week say they were arrested, searched without their consent, and had their property confiscated and held for two days. The Deputy Chief of Police says the group was suspected of trespassing in a rail yard (a felony) and gave "evasive answers" to officers.


The ACLU of Delaware has filed a suit against Wilmington police, who do not have a record as big fans of the constitution, for roughing up and arresting a 68 year-old filmmaker who attempted to document a traffic accident outside his home in 2006. Other onlookers were allowed to stay and watch while Mark Marquisee, who was about 20 feet from the accident scene and emergency responders, was tackled, handcuffed, and left to suffer in a hot patrol car in the August heat.

That's it for now - next week I'll be back with pretty pictures and misguided attempts at humor. I promise.

Chris in Philly

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