The muzzle grows tighter

Source: The muzzle grows tighter

Freedom of speech is in retreat

From the mosques of Cairo to the classrooms at Yale, all sorts of people and groups are claiming a right not to be offended. This is quite different from believing that people should, in general, be polite. A right not to be offended implies a power to police other people’s speech.

Such laws are handy tools for those in power to harass their enemies. And far from promoting harmony between different groups, they encourage them to file charges against each other. This is especially dangerous when cynical politicians get involved. Those who rely on votes from a certain group often find it useful to demand the punishment of someone who has allegedly insulted its members, especially just before an election.

Louisiana Refuses to Budget for Public Defenders – The Atlantic

Source: Louisiana Refuses to Budget for Public Defenders – The Atlantic

The right to legal counsel has long been the gold standard of American justice under the Constitution. But what happens when a state refuses to budget for public defenders? Louisiana is finding out.

$10 per case

The Louisiana Public Defender Board, which oversees every district office, has predicted “systemic failure in the public-defense system” by this summer [2016].

Until recently in New Orleans, public defenders assigned to misdemeanor courts each had upward of 19,000 cases per year, affording them an average of seven minutes for every client.

the 2017 annual budget, approved by the legislature, slashes public-defender funding by an additional 62 percent

FBI Kept Demanding Email Records Despite DOJ Saying It Needed a Warrant

Source: FBI Kept Demanding Email Records Despite DOJ Saying It Needed a Warrant

“It is very troubling that the FBI has apparently not been adhering to that guidance,” says Sen. Ron Wyden.

This should send up a huge red flag for Congress about the real potential for abuse

The FBI asks for so much, because it is banking that some companies won’t know the law and will disclose more than they have to. … The FBI is preying on small companies who don’t have the resources to hire national security law experts

The Weaknesses of a Popular Primary System – The Atlantic

Source: The Weaknesses of a Popular Primary System – The Atlantic

four goals that a [presidential] selection system should ideally be able to achieve:

(1) It should promote candidates with presidential character,

(2) the accession to power should be seen as legitimate,

(3) the executive should have qualifications for the office, and

(4) “highly ambitious” people should be prevented from taking office.