SB’s interview with SCOTUSblog: On teaching & mentoring, press passes, and the future

Tom Goldstein is going to a concert, and isn’t afraid to brag about it.

He held up two printed tickets with bar codes. “Don’t be jealous that I’m going to Katy Perry tonight.”

“Too late,” I responded.

Founder, Tom Goldstein, second from the right and SCOTUSblog writer Lyle Denniston, center, cover the Court.  Like bosses.

Founder, Tom Goldstein, second from the right, and SCOTUSblog writer Lyle Denniston, center, cover the Court. Like bosses.

SCOTUSblog is my first and often last stop for Supreme Court news.  I read it for personal interest and I use the site in my practice as a teacher to help young adults understand the judiciary.  SCOTUSblog inspired this website.  I wanted to talk to him while I was in D.C. about the role SCOTUSblog plays in teaching readers about the Supreme Court in the final weeks of the Court’s term.  This is a hectic time for him but he graciously invited me to his law office on Wisconsin Avenue to talk on a day sandwiched between two big decision days. Continue reading

On ABC v. Aereo

5-cent explanation:  Does Brooklyn, NY-based Aereo violate copyright laws when they provide equipment, at a cost of roughly $8 a month, to get local stations routed to consumers computers, tablets, or phones, to record and play programming on a cloud-based server?

10-cent explanation:  Aereo might be on to something – A la carte programming that saves viewers hundreds of dollars by abandoning packages and contracts with the majors cable companies.  Since this case first ignited attention in January, studies revealing people tend to only watch 7-8 channels out of the hundreds they’re offered through their cable companies have raised eyebrows.  Wise to this reality, young people in particular have cut ties with their cable providers opting instead for Apple TVs, Rokus, Slingboxes and now Aereo.   Continue reading

How two SCOTUS decisions could thwart electronic privacy erosion

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As Lucius Fox said, this does feel “wrong.”

By Cara L. Gallagher

Considering the median age of the nine Supreme Court Justices is around 65, Generation X, Y and Millenials should sit up and pay attention, not only the specifics of the two 4th Amendment cases involving cell phone searches (Riley v. CA and U.S. v. Wurie), but also the decisions.  Many of us have smart phones today.  Such devices and the applications we use are no doubt as much of an extension of us, in the royal sense, as our limbs.  If forced to choose which we’d rather sacrifice, the answer likely rests on how many of the limbs would have to go in order to still functionally operate a smart phone.

Smart phones are ubiquitous among 14-50 year olds, but not among the Justices. Continue reading

On police searches of cell phones and the 4th Amendment: Riley v. CA & U.S. v. Wurie

5-cent explanation: Can police search the contents of an arrestee’s cell phone (text messages, pictures, videos, call records, etc.) during routine traffic stops?

10-cent explanation: Two cases, both related to the searches of cell phones – one involved a flip phone, the other a smart phone – were argued in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on April 29, 2014 that questioned whether police could look inside the contents of a person’s phone without a warrant.

David Riley and Brima Wurie of California and Boston, respectively, both were found guilty on felony charges after evidence taken from their cellular phones was linked to criminal activity.  Wurie’s case is a bit different in that her phone was not a smart phone but a flip phone.  Her call records led police to find pounds of illegal drugs in her home, which were taken without a warrant and used against her in court. Riley is the case getting the most attention in that his phone was a smart phone commonly used by people today. Continue reading