In a strong defense of digital age privacy, a unanimous Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that police may not generally search the cellphones of people they arrest without first getting search warrants.
Cellphones are powerful devices unlike anything else police may find on someone they arrest, Chief Justice John Roberts said for the court. Because the phones contain so much information, police must get a warrant before looking through them, Roberts said.
“Modern cellphones are not just another technological convenience. With all they contain and all they may reveal, they hold for many Americans the privacies of life…The fact that technology now allows an individual to carry such information in his hand does not make the information any less worthy of the protection for which the Founders fought.” Roberts said.
The Obama administration and the state of California, defending the cellphone searches, said cellphones should have no greater protection from a search than anything else police find.
In an indication of how fundamental these protections are in the justices’ view, the chief justice likened warrantless searches of cell phones to the “general warrants” and “writs of assistance” imposed during colonial America that allowed British troops to “rummage through homes in an unrestrained search for evidence of criminal activity.”
The justices also rejected a suggested fallback position to allow police to conduct a limited search of a cell phone without a warrant whenever it was reasonable to believe the device contained evidence of the crime that prompted the arrest of the individual.
Roberts said that fallback position provided no practical limit because it would still give “police officers unbridled discretion to rummage at will among a person’s private effects.”
Instead, the court established a bright line rule that if police seize a cell phone during an arrest they must seek approval from a neutral judge before searching the phone for any evidence of crime.
Recall that the issue involving Lois Lerner was the targeting of conservative advocacy groups applying for 501(c)(4) status. But this letter concerned something different — the IRS’s decision to send letters to the donors of such organizations that their contributions might be subject to gift taxes.
But in claiming that Camp “sent a letter on this whole issue,” he went too far in describing the contents of the letter.
The Daily Caller…
Sent on June 3, 2011, Camp’s letter was spurred by complaints from five taxpayers who donated to 501(c)4 nonprofits and later received IRS warnings that the donations may not actually be tax-free.
It was a departure from the tax agency’s longtime leniency towards such donations. And — as the Ways and Means Committee later confirmed — all five of the affected taxpayers donated to conservative groups.
“How are tax-exempt organizations generally selected for audit?” read the fourth question in Camp’s letter. We now know that — in addition to the IRS screening 100 percent of 501(c)4 applicants with terms like “tea party” and “patriot” in their names – 100 percent of nonprofit audits in the same time period also targeted conservative groups.
Kessler also claims Lerner wasn’t aware the IRS was targeting tea party applications until June 29, 2011, weeks after Camp’s letter was sent. That’s also at best misleading, since an email from February 2011 reveals she was discussing how to separately handle “dangerous” tea party cases — individuals, groups or otherwise — months before Camp’s letter.
Read the full article at The Daily Caller.
Management for EPA’s Region 8 office in Denver, Colorado, sent an email earlier this year telling employees to cease their gross bathroom habits, including pooping in the hallway.
The news site Government Executive obtained an email from EPA Deputy Regional Administrator Howard Cantor from earlier this year, mentioning “several incidents” in the agency’s office building, including clogged the toilets and “an individual placing feces in the hallway.”
Things apparently got so bad, the agency “consulted” with workplace violence expert John Nicoletti, who — not surprisingly — said poop in the hallways was an office health and safety risk. Nicoletti said such actions were dangerous and those responsible would “probably escalate” their feces plans.
“Management is taking this situation very seriously and will take whatever actions are necessary to identify and prosecute these individuals,” Cantor wrote, pleading those with knowledge of the poop culprits to come forward.
Read the full story at The Daily Caller.
“Coincidentally”, after this story broke, the EPA “suddenly” discovered that it also was missing emails due to hard drive crashes.
Judson Phillips, the vocal leader of Tea Party Nation, an online group that backed state Senator Chris McDaniel in the race, said that Senator Thad Cochran and his allies made it abundantly clear in the contest that the “RINO wing” of the Republican party will do whatever it can to stay in power — in this case by reaching out to Democrats.
“When the Republican Establishment acts like Democrats, what is the point of supporting them?” Mr. Phillips said in an early morning email blast. “The answer is, we don’t have to.
“Every McDaniel supporter in Mississippi from DeSoto County in the North to Biloxi in the South should stand up today and tell Chris McDaniel that if he runs as a write-in candidate in November, they will support him,” he said.
“The Republican Establishment thinks they have fought back an insurrection from conservatives and now we will meekly fall in line in November and support a RINO who needs Democrats to win? Never,” said Mr. Phillips. “If Chris McDaniel loses his challenges to this election, then he needs to be a write-in candidate this fall.”
Read the full article at the Washington Times.
IRS Commissioner John Koskinen (aka Gollum) contributed more than $85,000 to Democratic candidates and committees, MRCTV research has discovered – with a $5,000 donation to President Obama in 2012 and $19,000 to the Democratic National Committee from 1988 to 2008. This may explain the fawning “thank yous” Koskinen received for his public service from many Democrats last night on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
“You know when you’ve got a person who’s given what you’ve given and been brought into difficult circumstances…” said Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) to Koskinen during last night’s hearing. “Some of the statements that have been made here today make it look like you’re just coming up here, trying to fool people, when under Republican and Democratic administrations you have been highly regarded.”
Listening to Cummings, those watching at home may have thought that Koskinen had served a long and storied civil service career “under Republican and Democratic administrations” – but as a matter of fact, prior to his appointment to the IRS six months ago, Koskinen worked as non-executive chairman of publicly-traded Freddie Mac (from 2008 to 2012.) He never worked for the Federal government under a Republican administration.
According to Open Secrets records, the IRS Commissioner that so many described as “arrogant” contributed to every Democratic nominee for president since 1980. He gave $2,300 to Obama’s first run for president in 2009 and $5,000 in 2012.
Read the full article at CNSNews.com.