Latest in Civil Liberties and Constitutional Rights

Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act

Personal Jurisdiction Over Foreign States and State-Owned Enterprises

Conventional wisdom and many lower court cases hold that foreign states are not entitled to constitutionally based personal jurisdiction protections in federal courts because they are not “persons” protected by the Fifth Amendment. That reasoning is incorrect as a matter of constitutional text and history, and it leads to poor results as a matter of policy for reasons explored at length in a forthcoming article and summarized here.

Intelligence Oversight

In Praise of Alex Joel

It’s recently been announced that Alex Joel, who has served as the civil liberties protection officer in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) for 14 years, is leaving the ODNI. I had the privilege of working closely with Alex, and learning from him, during some turbulent times for the intelligence community. At a time when the intelligence community is under attack, it is appropriate to honor Alex as an exemplar of the dedicated public servants who work in U.S. intelligence agencies.

Civil Liberties and Constitutional Rights

The Role of Deference in Adjudicating the Military Transgender Policy, DACA and the Census

On March 9, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued two concurring opinions in an earlier per curiam ruling that had vacated a district court injunction against the military’s restrictions on service of transgender persons. As Judge Robert Wilkins’s concurrence observed, neither the D.C.

Civil Liberties and Constitutional Rights

New York Lawsuit Challenges Replacement of Immigration Court Hearings with Video Technology

In the latest salvo in a long debate over the use of video teleconferencing (VTC) technology in immigration courts, several legal aid organizations filed a class-action lawsuit on Feb. 12 in New York challenging the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) practice of denying in-person hearings to immigrants.

Civil Liberties and Constitutional Rights

Hoda Muthana and Shamima Begum: Citizenship and Expatriation in the U.S. and U.K.

In the past few days, two young women who left their home countries to join the Islamic State in Syria announced their desire to return home with their children. Hoda Muthana, from the United States, and Shamima Begum, from the United Kingdom, both married Islamic State fighters and had children in Syria. But neither the U.S. nor the U.K. will allow their return.

Civil Liberties and Constitutional Rights

Supreme Court Stays Injunctions in Trans Ban Case: What Happens Now?

This morning, the Supreme Court granted stays of two district court preliminary injunctions in Trump v. Karnoski and Trump v. Stockman, which had blocked implementation of the Trump administration’s ban on military service by transgender people. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan would have denied the stay.

First Amendment

Document: Fourth Circuit Says Virginia Politician’s Facebook Page is a ‘Public Forum’ and that First Amendment Prohibits Blocking Constituents

On Monday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled in Davidson v. Randall that a Virginia county official who blocked a constituent's access to the official’s Facebook page had violated the First Amendment. The court held that the official’s Facebook account amounted to a “public forum” and that blocking constituent access based on political viewpoints is unconstitutional. The full ruling is below.

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