Score another one for democracy…
On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review a decision by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals blocking the enforcement of an Illinois eavesdropping law. The broadly written law — the most stringent in the country — makes it a felony to make an audio recording of someone without their permission, punishable by four to 15 years in prison.
Many states have similar “all-party consent” law, which mean one must get the permission of all parties to a conversation before recording it. But in all of those states — except for Massachusetts and Illinois — the laws include a provision that the parties being recorded must have a reasonable expectation of privacy for it to be a crime to record them.
The Illinois law once included such a provision, but it was removed by the state legislature in response to an Illinois Supreme Court ruling that threw out the conviction of a man accused of recording police from the back of a squad car. That ruling found that police on the job have no reasonable expectation of privacy.
The Illinois and Massachusetts laws have been used to arrest people who attempt to record on-duty police officers and other public officials. In one of the more notorious cases, Chicago resident Tiawanda Moore was arrested in 2010 when she attempted to use her cell phone to record officers in a Chicago police station.
Moore had come to the station to report an alleged sexual assault by a Chicago cop, and says she became frustrated when internal affairs officers allegedly bullied her and attempted to talk her out of filing the report. Moore was eventually acquitted.
The lawsuit was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, which is planning a police accountability project in Chicago that will involve recording police while they’re on duty. The organization wanted to be sure its employees and volunteers wouldn’t be charged with felonies.
The 7th Circuit Court found a specific First Amendment right to record police officers. It’s the second federal appeals court to strike down a conviction for recording police. In August 2011, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit ruled that a man wrongly arrested for recording cops could sue the arresting officers for violating his First Amendment rights.
Continue reading here…
There are sure to be cries of “foul!” and “Chicago politics” from both the right and the left on this one…
The Illinois Supreme Court put Rahm Emanuel back on the ballot for Chicago mayor on Thursday, reviving his campaign to lead the country’s third-largest city.
The former White House chief of staff was thrown off the Feb. 22 ballot by an Illinois appellate court for not meeting a residency requirement because he hadn’t lived in Chicago for a year before the race. The Supreme Court ruled unanimously in his favor.
Emanuel lived for nearly two years in Washington working for President Barack Obama until he moved back to Chicago in October to run for mayor.
Emanuel, who has said he always intended to return to Chicago and was only living in Washington at the request of the president, had asked the Supreme Court to overturn the appeals court ruling. Within minutes of the ruling, Emanuel was at a downtown Chicago public transit station shaking hands with residents.
He never stopped campaigning as the controversy evolved. His spokesman said Emanuel was en route to the campaign appearance when he received word of the ruling and was scheduled to participate in televised debate Thursday evening.
In their appeal, Emanuel’s attorneys called Monday’s appeal court ruling “one of the most far-reaching election law rulings” ever issued in Illinois, not only because of its effect on the mayoral race but for “the unprecedented restriction” it puts on future candidates.
His lawyers raised several points, including that the appeals court applied a stricter definition of “residency” than the one used for voters. They say Illinois courts have never required candidates to be physically present in the state to seek office there.
In its ruling, the Supreme Court called the appeals court’s basis for deciding that Emanuel could not be on the ballot “without any foundation in Illinois law.” More…
Somehow, I believe this will not be the end of Rahm Emanuel’s battle to get on the Chicago Mayoral Ballot…
UPDATE: A prominent Illinois election lawyer who asked to remain anonymous because of his many political clients in Chicago, told the Huffington Post that there may be hope for Emanuel yet.
The Illinois Supreme Court, he said, “would certainly give the Appellate Court respect but I wouldn’t say that they are constrained from reversing their decision.”
That said, Monday’s two-to-one ruling throwing Emanuel’s name off the Chicago mayoral ballot was a major legal set back that dramatically complicated the former White House chief of staff’s run for the post. Rather than seek a rehearing with the appellate court, the Illinois lawyer said he expected the Emanuel campaign to appeal the decision to the state Supreme Court either Wednesday or as early as Tuesday. The Court will likely choose to take the case before the week was over.
“This is a matter of serious importance affecting essentially half of the state of Illinois just because of the population and impact of the economy,” the lawyer said. “So you can expect the Supreme Court will act very quickly. The parties will simply recycle their briefs responding to the appellate court opinion.”
The Chicago News Cooperative reported Monday morning that an Illinois Appellate Court overturned a decision regarding Rahm Emanuel’s Chicago residency. The court reportedly decided Emanuel is not eligible to run for mayor of Chicago because he has not been a resident of the city for one year. More…