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Category Archives: Courts

Two Supreme Court Cases That Could Break the Internet

The New Yorker $ – A cornerstone of life online has been that platforms are not responsible for content posted by users. What happens if that immunity goes away?: “In February, the Supreme Court will hear two cases—Twitter v. Taamneh and Gonzalez v. Google—that could alter how the Internet is regulated, with potentially vast consequences. Both cases concern Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act, which grants legal immunity to Internet platforms for content posted by users. The plaintiffs in each case argue that platforms have violated federal antiterrorism statutes by allowing content to remain online. (There is a carve-out in Section 230 for content that breaks federal law.) Meanwhile, the Justices are deciding whether to hear two more cases—concerning laws in Texas and in Florida—about whether Internet providers can censor political content that they deem offensive or dangerous. The laws emerged from claims that providers were suppressing conservative voices. To talk about how these cases could change the Internet, I recently spoke by phone with Daphne Keller, who teaches at Stanford Law School and directs the program on platform regulation at Stanford’s Cyber Policy Center. (Until 2015, she worked as an associate general counsel at Google.) During our conversation, which has been edited for length and clarity, we discussed what Section 230 actually does, different approaches the Court may take in interpreting the law, and why every form of regulation by platforms comes with unintended consequences…”

AI-powered “robot” lawyer won’t argue in court after jail threats

CBS News: “A “robot” lawyer powered by artificial intelligence was set to be the first of its kind to help a defendant fight a traffic ticket in court next month. But the experiment has been scrapped after “State Bar prosecutors” threatened the man behind the company that created the chatbot with prison time.  Joshua Browder,… Continue Reading

The Obscure New York Law That Could Dismantle Trump’s Empire

Daily Beast: “Former President Donald Trump, faced with a New York attorney general who won’t back down, is finally being forced to come up with a defense to explain why he lied relentlessly about his real estate portfolio. Her gargantuan lawsuit could bankrupt his company—and pave the way for a future criminal prosecution. His riches… Continue Reading

GPO Digitizes Historic Congressional Directories From the 1800s

“The U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) is digitizing historic volumes of the Congressional Directory from the 19th and 20th centuries. The first release includes Directories from 1869–1888, as well as 1993. Additional digitized historic Congressional Directories will be released on GovInfo as they are completed. Historically, the Congressional Directory has been one of the most… Continue Reading

Justice – Official Site

Jezebel – “It’s been nearly five years since Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed to the Supreme Court by the Senate in a 50-48 vote—despite allegations of sexual misconduct by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez and about 4,500 other tips that the FBI seemingly just kind of ignored. Justice, a new documentary about the botched… Continue Reading

Legal experts slam Supreme Court report on ‘brazenly hackish’ Dobbs leak investigation

Follow up Washington Post Opinion: Was leaking the Dobbs opinion the perfect crime? It sure looks that way. Follow up to today’s post – SCOTUS Statement Concerning the Leak Investigation Jan 19, 2023 – via Alternet: “Legal experts and media pundits have had a lot to say about the investigation results. And many of them… Continue Reading

Supreme Court Poised to Reconsider Key Tenets of Online Speech

The New York Times: “On Friday, the Supreme Court is expected to discuss whether to hear two cases that challenge laws in Texas and Florida barring online platforms from taking down certain political content. Next month, the court is scheduled to hear a case that questions Section 230, a 1996 statute that protects the platforms… Continue Reading

SCOTUS Statement Concerning the Leak Investigation Jan 19, 2023

I am updating this post with the most recent article in response to the “we do not have any idea who did it” investigation [hint – they did not quiz the justices and spouses]. CNN –  Supreme Court embarrassed by the opinion leak is embarrassed again Follow up to May 2, 2022 Politico article –… Continue Reading

Little-Known Surveillance Program Captures Money Transfers Between U.S. and More Than 20 Countries

WSJ: “Hundreds of federal, state and local U.S. law-enforcement agencies have access without court oversight to a database of more than 150 million money transfers between people in the U.S. and in more than 20 countries, according to internal program documents and an investigation by Sen. Ron Wyden. The database, housed at a little-known nonprofit… Continue Reading

The Right to Equal Protection and Fourth Amendment Rights Are Distinct Rights

Courts Must Protect Both: “On behalf of MACDL, Attorney Wood and a team of attorneys from Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr recently filed an amicus brief urging the Supreme Judicial Court to fully enforce people’s rights not to be targeted for stops based on their race, regardless of whether the police have reasonable suspicion.… Continue Reading

The Supply and Demand of Legal Help on the Internet

Hagan, Margaret, The Supply and Demand of Legal Help on the Internet (October 17, 2022). Margaret D. Hagan “The Supply and Demand of Legal Help on the Internet,” Legal Tech and the Future of Civil Justice, edited by David Freeman Engstrom. Cambridge University Press, Forthcoming., Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4250390 “Faith in technology as a way… Continue Reading