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Submission + - Is it time to hold police officers accountable for constitutional violations? (

schwit1 writes: Recently the Supreme Court issued a summary opinion in the White v. Pauly case.A police officer was sued for killing a man during an armed standoff during which the officers allegedly never identified themselves as police. The Supreme Court, however, concluded that the officer had “qualified immunity.” That is, he was immune from a suit for damages, because his conduct — while possibly unconstitutional — was not obviously unconstitutional.

The doctrine of qualified immunity operates as an unwritten defense to civil rights lawsuits brought under 42 U.S.C. 1983. It prevents plaintiffs from recovering damages for violations of their constitutional rights unless the government official violated “clearly established law,” usually requiring a specific precedent on point. This article argues that the doctrine is unlawful and inconsistent with conventional principles of statutory interpretation.

Members of the Supreme Court have offered three different justifications for imposing such an unwritten defense on the text of Section 1983. One is that it derives from a common law “good faith” defense; another is that it compensates for an earlier putative mistake in broadening the statute; the third is that it provides “fair warning” to government officials, akin to the rule of lenity.

But on closer examination, each of these justifications falls apart, for a mix of historical, conceptual, and doctrinal reasons. There was no such defense; there was no such mistake; lenity ought not apply. And even if these things were otherwise, the doctrine of qualified immunity would not be the best response.

The unlawfulness of qualified immunity is of particular importance now. Despite the shoddy foundations, the Supreme Court has been reinforcing the doctrine of immunity in both formal and informal ways. In particular, the Court has given qualified immunity a privileged place on its agenda reserved for few other legal doctrines besides habeas deference. Rather than doubling down, the Court ought to be beating a retreat.

Government officials, especially those with the power that Law Enforcement officers have, should be held to a higher standard, not a lower one.

Submission + - Trump's cyber-guru Giuliani runs ancient, utterly hackable website (

mask.of.sanity writes: US president-elect Donald Trump's freshly minted cyber tsar Rudy Giuliani runs a website so insecure that its content management system is five years out of date, unpatched and is utterly hackable. the website for Giuliani's eponymous infosec consultancy firm, runs Joomla! version 3.0, released in 2012, and since found to carry 15 separate vulnerabilities. More bugs and poor secure controls abound.

Comment Re:Disingenuous cost accounting (Score 1) 514

I guess I can't speak for those areas. However, in Chicago, the utility charges charges us for distribution fees and a seperate line for kWh usage. You are even able to choose an electricity supplier who is different from your distributor.

In these places where PV is popular, would you essentially just become your own supplier yet still pay the power company for distribution? I don't see this as being an obstacle which cannot be overcome.

Comment Re:Free market will sort it out (Score 5, Interesting) 254

The demand for illegal weaponry is not as great as the demand for controlled substances. Yes, there is no doubt criminal organizations would move to other pursuits, but they would be less profitable pursuits. Also, lets acknowledge the demand for illegal weaponry is already being met by criminal organizations. If you dropped the regulations on controlled substances, some of the existing organizations would try and become legit (we saw this during prohibition). Others would be forced into an already crowded market for dealing controlled arms.

Comment Re:Bullshit (Score 1) 323

Please, this is not a recent phenomenon, schools have never been a place full of civil liberties. Corporal punishment in public schools existed for quite some time. Schools have the ability to hold kids against their will (detentions), some places you can get arrested for truancy, there has never been due process in doling out these punishments either.
I am sure you could find a large amount of people who believe schools these days don't have enough power to infringe on student's rights and that's why "this generation" is the worst of them yet.

Comment Re:Interfering West Again (Score 1) 878

I wasn't trying to apply morality to the situationt. From my perspective, there is nothing inherently wrong with pro-west leaders or expanding NATO, etc. I was just trying to convey how this might be viewed as provocative from Putin's perspective. The Ukrainian People have every right to pursue whatever political course they desire, if they seek US or NATO help, the involved parties need to acknowledge the potential affects on the region. That is all I am saying.

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