Tag: 5th Amendment

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Trump supporters who contest the 2020 election lose their 5th, 4th, and 1st Amendment rights, Constitutional liberty interests, and writ of habeus corpus  in Washington DC Courts, where the guy with the viking horns is being held without bail because he might “push false claim of election fraud” if released.   Preview Open

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There is a serious proposal in Congress that the “Terrorist Watch List” and/or the “Terrorist No Fly List” be used as a basis for screening would-be purchasers of firearms in addition to the current background check operated by the FBI. Democrats, including the putative Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump, are enthusiastic over the proposal because […]

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For those who use Twitter, Charles C.W. Cooke’s twitter feed has been a sight to behold today. NR’s resident 2nd Amendment expert has been rebutting progressives and defending the 2nd and 5th Amendments all day long. Gotta love a conservative pundit who ventures outside of right-wing media and engages with the unfiltered general public.  Preview […]

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You Are Hereby Ordered …

 

shutterstock_403591747Imagine you’ve been convicted of no crime — in fact, imagine you’ve not even been charged with a crime — but have been incarcerated for nearly seven months. This is the current situation of a former Philadelphia police sergeant who has been housed at a federal detention center for refusing to comply with a court order to divulge information which could be used to charge and convict him of possessing child pornography. During an investigation into users of a secure file sharing network, he became a person of interest, and a warrant was served on his residence to collect evidence to support the government’s suspicions. Authorities sized two encrypted hard drives during the search, but lack the ability to view their contents unless unlocked by a password. When the man evoked his 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination at a grand jury, the presiding judge ruled that he could not be compelled to provide the encryption passcodes for the drives. Failing to secure an indictment through the normal process, prosecutors turned to federal courts.

On the affidavit of Homeland Security agent (what DHS has to do with a local child porn case is beyond my ken) a warrant was issued by the federal court for a search of the hard drives. “After obtaining the warrant, the government made an application pursuant to the All Writs Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1651, for an order compelling Mr. Doe to ‘produce’ the drives ‘in an unencrypted state’ … Magistrate Judge Thomas J. Rueter so ordered.” Upon instruction from the judge, the man entered several passcodes that failed to unlock the devices. When ordered to explain his inability to successfully unlock the devices he refused, was held in contempt, and has been jailed since, without conviction and without charges being brought against him. The case is now on appeal to the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

If some of this sounds familiar, it is because the FBI used the All Writs Act in an attempt to compel Apple to unlock the iPhone San Bernardino county had issued Syed Faroook before he murdered 14 of his co-workers in the name of the Islamic State. The difference here is the government is using the act in an attempt to compel a person of interest in a criminal investigation to provide information which could lead to his arrest and conviction of a very serious crime. It seems absolutely clear to me that using the All Writs Act in this manner is in direct violation of the 5th Amendment.