Another unglamorous tale of a pawn star

How does one analyze an unreasonable search differently from an unreasonable seizure? Does it matter, analytically, whether a seizure was unwarranted as opposed to unreasonable? The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals has the answers. It issued this decision today which begins: PPS, Inc. (PPS), the owner of the EZ Cash Pawn Shop in Little Rock, Arkansas (EZ), [...]

An argument for getting that cell phone away from your head

Gayle, Kristine and Angela sued the City of Chicago, challenging the constitutionality of its ordinance that prohibits the use of wireless telephones without a “hands-free” device while driving a motor vehicle. How do you think that suit fared? Good job. Judge Wood (my prediction for the next SCOTUS Junior Justice) began the opinion like this: “The [...]

Milwaukee cops kill Bubba

Does this qualify as sin? You betcha — says the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals today. On August 15, 2004, a handful of City of Milwaukee police officers acted on an anonymous tip that a wanted felon had entered Ms. Virgina Viilo’s home accompanied by a pit bull. Ms. Viilo was relaxing in her backyard with her elderly [...]

No fireworks at the ATF

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms has made news in recent weeks. Last month a federal judge denied an ATF agent’s motion for summary judgment in a First Amendment retaliation case out of Pensacola, Florida. (HT: ACLU of Florida.) The plaintiff, Ms. Karen Kilpatrick, claims that the ATF agent (and others) violated her First and Fourth Amendment rights [...]

This county ain’t big enough for the both of us

It’s been a rough couple of months for Sheriff Victor Hill. He’s the (lame duck) Sheriff of Clayton County, Georgia.  In August, a federal judge declined to grant qualified immunity to Mr. Hill in a suit brought by a strip club against the Clayton County Sheriff’s Office. In that complaint, the club (Pink Pony South) alleges that one day after it [...]