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September 2021


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Tag: supreme court

End of the Road: Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Ex-Rep. William Jefferson’s Appeal

Opening statements in Jefferson trial/courtesy of Art Lien/NBC News

By Allan Lengel
It looks as if it’s the end of the road for Louisiana’s ex-Rep. William Jefferson, who is in prison serving a 13-year sentence for a public corruption conviction.

Bruce Alpert, the star reporter for the New Orleans Times-Picayune, reports that the U.S. Supreme Court Monday refused to take the appeal of Jefferson’s 2009 corruption conviction.

Jefferson, 65, is serving his sentence in Beaumont, Tex., and isn’t set to be released until 2023.

To read more click here.


Ex-Rep. William Jefferson of Money-in-the-Freezer Fame Wants Supreme Court To Hear His Case

exRep. Jefferson at sentencing in 2009 /Sketch by Art Lien/NBC News

By Bruce Alpert
New Orleans Times-Picayune

WASHINGTON — in what is likely the last chance to overturn his 13-year prison sentence for public corruption, former Rep. William Jefferson is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to schedule arguments on whether the trial judge gave an overly expansive definition of a congressman’s duties.

The question is central, attorneys for Jefferson said in a filing Wednesday, because the congressman was convicted almost entirely on bribery and bribery-related charges that require the government to show the defendant performed an “official act” in return for something of value.

To read the full story click here.







Supreme Court Strikes Down Parts of Az Immigration Law But Upholds Part

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Supreme Court Rules that Secret Service Agents Can’t Be Sued in Protestor Confrontation With Cheney

By Allan Lengel

The big guys and gals have weighed in on the matter and Secret Service has come out on top.

The Supreme Court ruled Monday unanimously in favor of two Secret Service agents, saying they can’t be sued, according to the New York Times.

The court ruled against a Colorado protestor, who was suing the agents for violating his free speech and arresting him in 2006 after he made critical remarks to Vice President Dick Cheney.

The Times wrote of the Supreme Court ruling, which reversed a Court of Appeals decision:

The Supreme Court reversed the decision, saying the Secret Service agents could not be sued. They were entitled, (Clarence) Thomas wrote, to the qualified immunity available to government officials when the legal principle said to bar their conduct was not “clearly established.” The court did not decide whether the First Amendment in fact allows retaliatory arrests in such circumstances.

To read more click here.

Supreme Court Ruling Prompts FBI to Turn Off About 3,000 GPS Devices

By Allan Lengel

It’s fair to surmise that the FBI has a surplus of GPS devices that are just going to be sitting around.

The Wall Street Journal reports that FBI General Counsel Andrew Weissmann said at a conference Friday that a Supreme Court ruling requiring a court order before placing a GPS on someone’s car has prompted the FBI to turn off about 3,000 GPS devices that were in use.

Weissmann made his comments at a University of San Francisco conference called “Big Brother in the 21st Century.”

The Journal reports that the devices were often placed underneath cars to track movements.



FBI Cuts Back on Use of GPS Systems After Supreme Court Ruling

By Allan Lengel

The Supreme Court has ruled and the FBI is responding.

USA Today reports that the FBI has started cutting back on the use of GPS surveillance in wake of a Jan. 23 Supreme Court ruling which said law enforcement needs court authorization to attach a GPS to a vehicle.

The paper reported that the FBI implemented the change the day after the court ruling which said that mounting the device secretly on a car amounted to a search protected by the Fourth Amendment.

To read more click here. 


Supreme Court to Hear Case of Cheney Back-Slap

By Danny Fenster

As Herman Cain knows, it’s a fine line between a friendly pat on the shoulder and a little too much touching. Now, Steven Howards will find out the same.

On Monday the Supreme Court agreed to decide whether or not Howards can sue the Secret Service for denying his right to free speech when protecting then-vice president Dick Cheney during a 2006 incident in Colorado.

At a mall in Beaver Creek, Colo., a Secret Service agent said he heard Howards speaking into his cellphone, describing his plan to ask the vice president “how many kids he’s killed today,” according to the New York Times. Howards later approached Cheney, telling him his administration’s “policies in Iraq are disgusting,” then touched Cheney on the shoulder.

The shoulder tap has been variously described as a pat, a slap and a strike, which caused Cheney’s shoulder to dip, according to the Times. When agents confronted Howards he denied touching the vice president and said “if you don’t want other people sharing their opinions, you should have him avoid public places.” He was then arrested for assault and given to local authorities, charged with harassment–charges which were later dropped.

A federal district judge in Denver ruled that the suit against the agents could proceed.  A three-panel on the Court of Appeals subsequently reversed some of that ruling, saying that agents had a right to arrest Howards after he touched Cheney. Conversely, it ruled that the Howards’s claim for retaliatory arrest could  proceed to trial, saying his First Amendment rights may have been violated because agents could have been “substantially motivated” to take action against him based on his remarks, the Times reported.

The Supreme Court will now take on this touchy issue.

To read more click here.

Secret Service Agents Ask Supreme Court For Immunity from Lawsuit

By Allan Lengel

The legal battle goes on for two Secret Service agents in a case stemming from a 2006 visit to Colorado by Vice President Dick Cheney.

The Associated Press reports that the two agents are asking the Supreme Court to declare them immune from being sued in a First Amendment lawsuit.

The suit was filed by Steven Howards of Colorado, who was arrested by the agents after he touched Cheney on the arm and told him his Iraq war policies were “disgusting,” according to AP.

No fed charges were ever filed and the state charges were dropped. Howards alleged the arrest by agents Virgil D. “Gus” Reichle Jr. and Dan Doyle were in retaliation for criticizing Cheney.

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver upheld Howards right to sue the agents.