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Thread: SCOTUS Victory: It's legal to record LEO Encounters

  1. #1
    Regular Member Repeater's Avatar
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    SCOTUS Victory: It's legal to record LEO Encounters

    Huge victory: SCOTUS refused to accept challenge to 7th circuit ruling that Illinois law making it a FELONY to record cops without their permission is unconstitutional:

    Chicago’s State Attorney doing all she can to keep Draconian State Eavesdropping Law Alive
    For those of us with common sense and a basic understanding of Constitutional law, there is no question that Illinois’ Draconian eavesdropping law should be struck down as unconstitutional.

    After all, it is the only state in the union that makes it a felony to openly record police in public, even when they don’t have an expectation of privacy; activity that is protected by the First Amendment anywhere else in the country (as much as police like to pretend otherwise).

    Making the Illinois eavesdropping law even more Stalinist is the fact that police are exempt from the law, allowing them to record citizens while arresting those citizens for recording back.

    Even Chicago’s top cop Garry McCarthy believes the law should be abolished.

    But then you have Cook County State Attorney Anita Alvarez – an ambitious career prosecutor with a history of selective prosecution – who is doing everything she can to keep the law in place, even after the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in May that it “likely violates” the Constitution, sending it back down to the lower court to be tried.

    Undeterred by that ruling, Alvarez halted the lower court’s proceedings to allow her to petition the 7th Circuit to review the case en banc; Latin Legalese meaning all ten appellate judges would have had to rule on it instead of the three that did.

    When that was laughed down, she petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court in the hopes it would overrule the 7th Circuit’s decision.

    I imagine the Supreme Court could have settled the issue once and for all and that would not have been such a bad thing considering it has never addressed the issue of citizens having the right to openly record cops in public.

    But the Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear the case because it agreed with the 7th Circuit, which is even a bigger slap in the face to Alvarez, sending it back down to the lower court where the debate began in 2010 after the ACLU filed a preliminary injunction to stop these absurd arrests; fourteen which had been prosecuted during the previous eight years, including three by Alvarez.
    See also:

    Supreme Court Inaction Boosts Right To Record Police Officers
    That decision also found a broad First Amendment right to record on-duty government officials in public: "Gathering information about government officials in a form that can readily be disseminated to others serves a cardinal First Amendment interest in protecting and promoting 'the free discussion of governmental affairs.'" And in fact, in that it strips police who make such arrests of their immunity from lawsuits, it's an even stronger opinion. Of course, the police themselves rarely pay damages in such suits -- taxpayers do.

    The Supreme Court's refusal to grant certiorari in the case doesn't necessarily mean the justices endorse the lower court's ruling. But it does mean that at least six of the current justices weren't so opposed to the ruling that they felt the case needed to be heard.

    The 1st and 7th circuit decisions mean that it is now technically legal to record on-duty police officers in every state in the country. Unfortunately, people are still being arrested for it. Police officers who want to make an arrest to intimidate would-be videographers can always use broadly written laws that prohibit public disorder, interfering with a police officer, or similar ordinances that give law enforcement wide discretion.

  2. #2
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    As I understand it, this ruling only applies to the 7th circuit. Might have been good to get the case heard by SCOTUS so the ruling would apply across the US.

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    I saw a similar story linked through another website.I'm not ready to accept that it is now the law for the entire country. Cornell.edu reports that SCOTUS denied cert., meaning they refused to hear the case. But, I don't know that doesn't mean they wouldn't hear it later if the federal circuits split on the issue.Thus, I would trust that it is the law of the land only under the following conditions:

    1. If all the federal circuits have already reached the same conclusion
    2. If some federal circuits reached the same conclusion, and state law--statutes and state case law--in the remaining circuits already protected recording. With no appeals pending.
    Last edited by Citizen; 11-28-2012 at 06:36 PM.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    Repeater, how apt is your name! This is a duplicate thread.

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    Regular Member We-the-People's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    Repeater, how apt is your name! This is a duplicate thread.
    So where is the duplicate? This is an important issue in several jurisdictions including here in Oregon.

    The 7th would be pursuasive but not precedent in other circuits. That SCOTUS denied cert should also lend weight to the pursuasiveness of the 7th's decision.
    "The Second Amendment speaks nothing to an unfettered Right". (Post # 100)
    "Restrictions are not infringements. Bans are infringements.--if it reaches beyond Reasonable bans". (Post # 103)
    Beretta92FSLady
    http://forum.opencarry.org/forums/sh...ons-Bill/page5

    Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, nothing in any of my posts should be considered legal advice. If you need legal advice, consult a reputable attorney, not an internet forum.

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    SCOTUS Victory: It's legal to record LEO Encounters

    I don't know how you could've missed them. There're about four of them now.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk.

    <o>

  7. #7
    Regular Member We-the-People's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    I don't know how you could've missed them. There're about four of them now.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk.

    <o>
    Ummmm It's finals week and it's been a bit tough leadin up to it. Two Crim Justice courses and a marketing course. Lot's of writing, not much time for checking the boards (or even just getting out of the house).
    "The Second Amendment speaks nothing to an unfettered Right". (Post # 100)
    "Restrictions are not infringements. Bans are infringements.--if it reaches beyond Reasonable bans". (Post # 103)
    Beretta92FSLady
    http://forum.opencarry.org/forums/sh...ons-Bill/page5

    Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, nothing in any of my posts should be considered legal advice. If you need legal advice, consult a reputable attorney, not an internet forum.

  8. #8
    Regular Member We-the-People's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ca Patriot View Post
    You are right its a very important issue.

    I am waiting on the Glik case as well. I really want to be able to sue a few officers that have trampled my free press for video taping.
    I thought the GLIK case was over and Glik won. Is there a new one or is the state still taking it higher?
    "The Second Amendment speaks nothing to an unfettered Right". (Post # 100)
    "Restrictions are not infringements. Bans are infringements.--if it reaches beyond Reasonable bans". (Post # 103)
    Beretta92FSLady
    http://forum.opencarry.org/forums/sh...ons-Bill/page5

    Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, nothing in any of my posts should be considered legal advice. If you need legal advice, consult a reputable attorney, not an internet forum.

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