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Mon Nov 26, 2012, 10:07 AM

Breaking: Supreme Court Blocks Illinois Law Prohibiting Taping of Police

Source: Associated Press

Supreme Court blocks Illinois law prohibiting taping of police

Associated Press
9:01 a.m. CST, November 26, 2012

The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected a plea from the Cook County state's attorney to allow enforcement of a law prohibiting people from recording police officers on the job.

The justices on Monday left in place a lower court ruling that found that the state's anti-eavesdropping law violates free speech rights when used against people who tape law enforcement officers.

- snip -

The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit in 2010 against State's Attorney Anita Alvarez to block prosecution of ACLU staff for recording police officers performing their duties in public places, one of the group's long-standing monitoring missions.

Opponents of the law say the right to record police is vital to guard against abuses.

Read more: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-supreme-court-rejects-plea-to-prohibit-taping-of-police-20121126,0,686331.story?track=rss

49 replies, 9460 views

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Arrow 49 replies Author Time Post
Reply Breaking: Supreme Court Blocks Illinois Law Prohibiting Taping of Police (Original post)
Hissyspit Nov 2012 OP
marmar Nov 2012 #1
24601 Nov 2012 #46
kelliekat44 Dec 2012 #49
hlthe2b Nov 2012 #2
AnotherMcIntosh Nov 2012 #4
Sekhmets Daughter Nov 2012 #44
glacierbay Nov 2012 #45
AnotherMcIntosh Nov 2012 #47
Hassin Bin Sober Nov 2012 #3
AnotherMcIntosh Nov 2012 #5
graham4anything Nov 2012 #7
JDPriestly Nov 2012 #11
RKP5637 Nov 2012 #27
duhneece Nov 2012 #6
rocktivity Nov 2012 #8
mopinko Nov 2012 #9
ChairmanAgnostic Nov 2012 #15
LiberalFighter Nov 2012 #19
randome Nov 2012 #25
mopinko Nov 2012 #41
yurbud Nov 2012 #10
fasttense Nov 2012 #12
libodem Nov 2012 #13
rhett o rick Nov 2012 #14
AnotherMcIntosh Nov 2012 #16
Lasher Nov 2012 #20
AnotherMcIntosh Nov 2012 #39
freshwest Nov 2012 #17
Downtown Hound Nov 2012 #18
Iggo Nov 2012 #21
malthaussen Nov 2012 #22
randome Nov 2012 #23
Laelth Nov 2012 #28
randome Nov 2012 #30
Downtown Hound Nov 2012 #33
randome Nov 2012 #35
Downtown Hound Nov 2012 #37
jerseyjack Nov 2012 #24
Laelth Nov 2012 #29
PavePusher Nov 2012 #32
Downtown Hound Nov 2012 #34
AnotherMcIntosh Nov 2012 #38
damnedifIknow Nov 2012 #26
grahamhgreen Nov 2012 #31
ProudProgressiveNow Nov 2012 #36
glacierbay Nov 2012 #40
AnotherMcIntosh Nov 2012 #42
glacierbay Nov 2012 #43
Logical Dec 2012 #48

Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 10:08 AM

1. Even this court is capable of intermittent bouts of sanity.

nt

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Response to marmar (Reply #1)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 05:56 PM

46. So the Godfather can't reign with impunity? What's Chicago coming to if you aren't

allowed to run it like North Korea?

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Response to marmar (Reply #1)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 08:11 PM

49. One small step for manking. nt

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 10:09 AM

2. Yes...! Was this unanimous?

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Response to hlthe2b (Reply #2)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 10:38 AM

4. All the Court did was not accept a petition to be heard.

 

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #4)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 05:31 PM

44. Just the opposite.

The court rejected an appeal and let the lower court decision stand. The police cannot stop people from recording them while performing their duties.

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #44)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 05:36 PM

45. And it was a good rejection

 

The police should have no expectation of privacy while in the public, just like a private citizen has no expectation of privacy while in public.
The police are no better than the general citizenry.

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #44)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 07:27 PM

47. Either (1) the Court did not accept a petition to be heard (#4) or (2) the Court rejected an appeal.

 

As explained in Wikipedia,

"In the United States, certiorari is most often seen as the writ that the Supreme Court of the United States issues to a lower court to review the lower court's judgment for legal error (reversible error) and review where no appeal is available as a matter of right. Before the Evarts Act, the cases that could reach the Supreme Court were heard as a matter of right, meaning that the Court was required to issue a decision in each of those cases. That is, the Court had to review all properly presented appeals on the merits, hear oral argument, and issue decisions. As the United States expanded in the nineteenth century, the federal judicial system became increasingly strained, with the Supreme Court having a backlog several years long. The Act solved these problems by transferring most of the court's direct appeals to the newly created Circuit Courts of Appeals, whose decisions in those cases would normally be final. The Supreme Court did not completely give up its judiciary authority, however, because it gained the ability to review the decisions of the courts of appeals at its discretion through writ of certiorari.

Since the Judiciary Act of 1925 and the Supreme Court Case Selections Act of 1988, most cases cannot be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court as a matter of right. A party who wants the Supreme Court to review a decision of a federal or state court files a "petition for writ of certiorari" in the Supreme Court. A "petition" is printed in booklet format and 40 copies are filed with the Court. If the Court grants the petition, the case is scheduled for the filing of briefs and for oral argument.

A minimum of four of the nine Justices are required to grant a writ of certiorari, referred to as the "rule of four". The court denies the vast majority of petitions and thus leaves the decision of the lower court to stand without review; it takes roughly 80 to 150 cases each term. ...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Certiorari


The Clerk of the Supreme Court seems to think Anita Alvarez filed a Petition for a Writ of Certiorari (#12-318) and did not file an appeal. The Clerk of the Supreme Court also seems to think that the Supreme Court denied a Petition for Cert, and he reported such denial ( http://www.supremecourt.gov/Search.aspx?FileName=/docketfiles/12-318.htm )

Was the Clerk wrong?

Instead of filing a Petition for a Writ of Certiorari, did the State's Attorney in Chicago do "just the opposite" and file an appeal with the result that "the court rejected an appeal"?

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 10:11 AM

3. Good news!

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 10:39 AM

5. Yea, well, the Chicago police can still illegally taze people and otherwise deliver unnecessary

 

violence with impunity.

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #5)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 10:43 AM

7. So can every other police department in the nation as the cops have 100% control and are more

 

powerful than any mayor or governor or any juristriction nationwide.

they are their own mercanary force getting worse than ever

because the good cops won't out the bad ones.

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Response to graham4anything (Reply #7)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 11:07 AM

11. Elect better, wiser, gentler people to your city council.

We have some great people on our city council in Los Angeles.

Bill Rosendahl is one of them. Ed Reyes another. A whole group of good people.

A former police chief is also on the council.

You have to work to get good people elected. You have to get to know your councilperson and not just vote for a party or a ticket without knowing who you are voting for.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #11)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 12:20 PM

27. That is an excellent point. All Americans really need to do more digging into the

background of those whom they vote for and what they are really all about.

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 10:42 AM

6. I hope more of us record law enforcement when we can

This sounds like a good thing.

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 11:02 AM

8. EVERYONE loses their expectation of privacy once they leave their homes

except when they step into in a public bathroom stall. And that INCLUDES the police, especially when they're on duty.


rocktivity

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 11:05 AM

9. anita alverez is a deep disappointment

to the progressives that supported her. gave us the old- who but an insider could clean this dept up? answer- anybody but.

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Response to mopinko (Reply #9)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 11:21 AM

15. I was shocked to learn her stance on this issue.

They can spy on us at all times, without warning (chicago's downtown is filled with cameras in ALL locations) yet, we cannot show misbehavior by police? I am glad the Supremes did the right thing. Then again, there are some pretty good justices on the bench now.

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Response to mopinko (Reply #9)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 12:06 PM

19. She needs to be ass wiped reminded or sent to the woodshed.

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Response to mopinko (Reply #9)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 12:16 PM

25. As jerseyjack points out below, she was required to defend the law.

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Response to randome (Reply #25)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 01:42 PM

41. she has done other things that piss us off.

failing to stand up against abusive interrogations is one.

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 11:07 AM

10. that's good news to start my day!

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 11:11 AM

12. Well, have the kings of the United States made a good decision by random chance?

So, they decided NOT to hear the case and the lower ruling stands. How supremely kingly of them.

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 11:14 AM

13. Thank God Almighty

Restore Sanity to the US.

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 11:20 AM

14. Does this constitute a precident? nm

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #14)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 11:23 AM

16. No.

 

The lower court's decision is a precedent for itself and the courts subject to its jurisdiction. Courts in other jurisdictions can choose to follow it.

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #16)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 12:07 PM

20. The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has jurisdiction in 3 states:

Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin. Let's not give the SCOTUS too much credit here. By refusing to hear this case, they allowed enforcement of similar laws in the other 47 states - without having to be so obvious about it.

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Response to Lasher (Reply #20)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 01:20 PM

39. Yes, but the Chicago Tribune is a Republican newspaper with reporters who write misleading stories.

 

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 11:45 AM

17. Good news!!

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 11:55 AM

18. Let's just forget about the total trampling of the constitution that was this law

A FIFTEEN year prison term was the maximum penalty for videotaping cops? I guess it's not enough for them to curtail our rights and our ability to defend ourselves against police misconduct. They have to add insult to injury and tack on grossly excessive and ridiculous penalties too.

I'm really glad the court ruled the way it did. But I want the people responsible for writing this fascist law punished and that bitch attorney to lose her job.

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 12:09 PM

21. Excellent news!!!

Kicked and Recommended.

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 12:09 PM

22. They'll probably appeal

Oh, wait...

-- Mal

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 12:12 PM

23. The article doesn't explain the rationale for making taping illegal in the first place.

I could almost understand it if it was based on the last century since taping involved lugging around heavy cameras and this could interfere with the police. But that's simply me stretching a devil's advocate position a great deal.

Even if that WERE the rationale, today anyone can be filmed using a cell phone so it's kind of a ridiculous position to take.

Does anyone know on what basis the law was originally written?

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Response to randome (Reply #23)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 12:32 PM

28. No "basis" is required. Legislators are free to write any law they want.

Whether that law is constitutional is another question altogether--a question to be decided by the courts if, and only if, someone sues the state on the grounds that the law in question is unconstitutional. That's exactly what happened here.

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Reply #28)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 12:37 PM

30. Sure. I'm just wondering what they might have argued before the court.

Anything that made sense or was it just, 'Because we say so!' ?

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Response to randome (Reply #23)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 01:09 PM

33. Well, the offical reason, if I recall correctly

was that it violated an officer's right to privacy. Apparently, cops are the only ones entitled to privacy when outdoors according to that logic.

The real reason? I think a lot of cops just got tired of seeing all those videos on youtube of their fellow officers behaving badly, and didn't like the fact that citizens armed with cameras posed a threat to their ability to get away with things that they've always gotten away with in the past, so they pressured some lawmakers into taking away that ability from the public.

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Response to Downtown Hound (Reply #33)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 01:11 PM

35. That's it? 'Privacy' concerns?

For a public official in public, I don't see how anyone can argue that with a straight face.

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Response to randome (Reply #35)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 01:15 PM

37. Yep, it was actually written as some kind of anti-eavesdropping law. n/t

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 12:12 PM

24. Alverez was required to defend the law even if she disagreed with it.

 

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Response to jerseyjack (Reply #24)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 12:36 PM

29. I am not sure about that.

She may have agreed to defend the law. She may have been pressured to defend the law. Her job description may even say that she must defend the State of Illinois in all legal actions, but, as a Constitutional officer, she is not required to defend a law that she believes is unconstitutional.

She either believed the law was constitutional, or she didn't care and went with the flow so as not to offend the Governor or the legislature. Either way, she bears some responsibility here.

-Laelth

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Response to jerseyjack (Reply #24)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 01:07 PM

32. Bullshit. She's not required to do anything she isn't morally supportive of.

 

She can (if neccesary) resign at any time, or simply refuse a repugnant order.

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Response to jerseyjack (Reply #24)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 01:11 PM

34. She was not required to file an appeal

after a lower court ruled it unconstitutional. She could have let it die there if she was so opposed to it.

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Response to jerseyjack (Reply #24)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 01:17 PM

38. Bullshit. The Civil War ended slavery in all States when the 13th Amendment was adopted.

 

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 12:19 PM

26. An early Christmas present to the people of Illinois.

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 12:44 PM

31. This is a big deal

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 01:11 PM

36. K&R nt

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 01:24 PM

40. I've been a cop for nigh onto 30 years

 

and I've never had a problem with citizen oversight, whether it be watching me do my job, or filming me do my job, as long as they don't actively interfere, I say record away, it keeps us honest.
Good job SCOTUS, IL. should have known better.

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Response to glacierbay (Reply #40)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 03:34 PM

42. The best police officers set good examples for others to follow, and none should object to having

 

their actions memorialized under the conditions that you've mentioned.

I'm now retired, but I've known some good cops. I've also known some bad ones.

Whether a community has good cops or bad ones, in my opinion, depends upon management. Bad politicians reward and promote bad cops. Responsible politicians do not.

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #42)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 03:41 PM

43. I fully agree

 

and that's why I won't tolerate any bad actions from the officers under my command. My division has had the least IAD complaints 2 years running now and when I retire, I will retire with pride knowing that my division is as honest as I could make it.

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Response to glacierbay (Reply #40)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 12:19 PM

48. Wow, thanks for this. I admit I am not a fan of the police. Too many abuses with no punishment.....

But I apreciate your attitude.

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