What’s at Stake 

It’s not about 1 person. It’s not about 1 phone. It’s about the government being able to snoop on all people, on all phones, on all devices, on your TV, PC, even your HVAC and car. The government wants a skeleton key to unlock whatever it wants whenever it wants. This is dangerous in the extreme.

Via This Is the Real Reason Apple Is Fighting the FBI @

All Writs Act

While the All Writs Act is not used every day, the act has been successfully invoked by the government to compel telephone companies to install wiretaps, for phone companies to hand over call records, and to obtain CCTV footage, handwriting exemplars, and DNA samples. It has even been cited to force a defendant to cough up his computer password.

What’s more, it has played a part in copyright piracy cases. In a forthcoming law journal article,Annemarie Bridy, a law professor at the University of Idaho, writes that “some courts granting broad preliminary orders against non-parties in ‘pirate site’ cases have cited the All Writs Act as a source of authority.”

The All Writs Act was originally part of the Judiciary Act of 1789, which established the Supreme Court, the lower courts, and spelled out the basic powers of the judicial branch of government. In 1990, former Justice Sandra Day O’Connor described the Judiciary Act as “probably the most important and most satisfactory Act ever passed by Congress.”

Via How Apple will fight the DOJ in iPhone backdoor crypto case @ Ars Technica.

No Duty 

Article II, Section 2 does not lay out any specific procedure by which the Senate can refuse its consent. It does not indicate whether it must do so by taking a vote, or whether it can simply refuse to consider the president’s nominee at all. However, Article I, Section 5 states that “Each House may determine the rules of its proceedings.” That power includes the rules for considering judicial nominations, as well as all other Senate business. Thus, so long as the Senate has established rules that allow it

Via The Constitution does not require the Senate to give judicial nominees an up or down vote @  Washington Post Volokh Conspiracy.

Federal Subsidies Survive to Tax Another Day

“Obamacare’s subsidies will live, thanks to the Supreme Court.

The High Court has ruled 6-3 in favor of the administration to uphold the subsidies in Obamacare’s federal exchanges. The case challenged the administration’s decision, through the Internal Revenue Service, to allow subsidies in the 36 exchanges run by the federal government under the law….”

Via Supreme Court Upholds Obamacare Subsidies in King v. Burwell @ Hit & Run :

Brush up your Shakespeare

“Justice Scalia writes in various places in his King v. Burwell dissent from this morning: Understatement, thy name is an opinion on the Affordable Care Act! . . . Impossible possibility, thy name is an opinion on the Affordable Care Act! . . . Contrivance, thy name is an opinion on the Affordable Care Act!……

Repulsive speech as crime

“The Supreme Court Monday ruled in favor of a Pennsylvania man who was convicted in federal court for statements he made on Facebook, holding that current federal law is too broad in what it classifies as criminally threatening statements. The case, Elonis v. United States, began back in 2010. After his wife left him, Anthony…

Left and Right uniting for a libertarian goal: sentencing reform

Here, Sens. Rand Paul and Corey Booker: The measure, called the REDEEM Act, has several pillars: It encourages states to change policies so children are directed away from the adult criminal justice system; automatically expunges or seals — depending on their age — criminal records of juveniles who committed nonviolent crimes; and limits solitary confinement…