Supreme Court ruling on cell phone privacy is "really big deal," ACLU's Samuelson says

Categories: Law
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All these folks agree officers need a warrant to search your cell phone.
This week, in a rare unanimous decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that law enforcement agencies must obtain a warrant before searching cell phones.

The ruling, written by Chief Justice John Roberts, says that just because smartphones now allow people to carry vast quantities of their personal information around with them "does not make the information any less worthy of the protection for which the founders fought."

See also:
MN ACLU explains why Duck Dynasty dude's anti-gay comments aren't protected speech


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Reid Sagehorn sues following suspension from Rogers High for tweet about kissing teacher

Categories: Education, Law
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Reid Sagehorn picture via Jacki V. Seniors
In late January, somebody posted this tweet on an online forum called "Roger confessions" -- "did @R_Sagehorn3 actually make out with [name of female school teacher]."

Reid Sagehorn himself sarcastically replied, "Actually yeah." A suspension and school transfer later, Sagehorn is now suing Rogers Police Chief Jeff Beahen, Elk River School District Superintendent Mark Bezek, Rogers High School Principal Roman Pierskalla, Assistant Superintendent Jana Henne-Burr, and police liaison Stephen Sarazin in federal court for the allegedly overzealous way they handled his punishment.

See also:
Reid Sagehorn won't be charged for tweet about kissing a teacher


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MNGOP endorsed Supreme Court candidate who faces DUI trial

Categories: Crime, Law, MNGOP
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Michelle MacDonald
Two weeks ago, Michelle MacDonald, a family law attorney with three Twin Cities offices, won the Minnesota Republican Party's endorsement to run for the Supreme Court against incumbent Justice David Lillehaug.

Now she's in the news for very different reasons -- it just came to light she faces a criminal trial this fall stemming from an April 5, 2013 DUI arrest.

See also:
Andy Parrish apologizes for slapping MNGOP activist after allegedly calling him "cream puff"


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ACLU argues Minnesota sobriety test law is unconstitutional

Categories: Law
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West Midlands Police on Flickr
The ACLU-MN argues being arrested for refusing to take tests of this sort violates the Fourth Amendment.
Do you know it's a crime in Minnesota to merely refuse to submit to a sobriety test?

It's a lesson a man named William Bernard learned the hard way two years ago when he was approached by police at a public boat ramp and asked to undergo field sobriety tests and a breathalyzer exam. Bernard refused, was arrested, and ultimately convicted of a felony for refusing to submit to chemical testing.

See also:
MN ACLU explains why Duck Dynasty dude's anti-gay comments aren't protected speech


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Feds to keep $138,121 in cash seized at MSP because it smelled like pot

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You don't actually have to have ganja on you to get in pot-related trouble at MSP, it turns out.
A default judgment filed in Minnesota's U.S. District Court on May 28 by Judge Michael Davis allows the federal government to keep a whole bunch of cash originally seized at MSP Airport merely because it smelled like pot.

But the feds don't keep to keep the $138,121 because it smelled like pot. Instead, the legal rationale hinges on the fact that "Robert L. Casteel and all unknown persons and entities... have failed to file a verified claim to the defendant currency," the judgement in United States of America v. $138,121.00 in U.S. Currency says.

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The new Green Giant looks like he just took a bong rip [IMAGE]


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Woodbury teen Tara Fitzgerald's overdose death leads to five murder charges

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Cole Matenaer (right) is one of five teens facing a murder charge in connection with the death of Fitzgerald (left).
Five teenagers -- including three minors -- face third-degree murder charges in connection with the synthetic drug overdose death of 17-year-old Woodbury resident Tara Fitzgerald.

All five were allegedly involved in the drug dealing chain that resulted in Fitzgerald and a friend of hers ingesting a substance they believed to be LSD while they were hanging out at Fitzgerald's house around midnight on January 11.

See also:
House unanimously approves Rep. Schoen's bill granting immunity for drug OD reporters


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Mpls attorney Josh Newville leading fight for marriage equality in South Dakota

Categories: GLBT, Law
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Twitter
Newville: "We feel the time is right, and this is important, so we filed."
Just two years removed from graduating from the University of Minnesota law school, Josh Newville is making international headlines.

Yesterday, Newville filed suit in Sioux Falls district court on behalf of six same-sex couples challenging a South Dakota constitutional amendment banning gay marriage approved by voters in 2006. It argues the ban violates the couples' constitutional rights to equal protection, due process, and right to travel.

See also:
Local gay guy emigrates from Wisconsin to Minnesota in search of a better life


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Mark Ritchie pulls plug on legislators' "get out of jail" cards [UPDATE]

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These cards are now collector's items.
-- Updates at bottom --

This session, a bill to strip legislators of their immunity from most non-felony arrests stalled in the Senate amid disagreement over whether new legislation was really needed in order to make state senators and representatives subject to DWIs.

Today, outgoing Secretary of State Mark Ritchie cleared up any confusion by announcing that his office will simply stop issuing the cards at the start of future legislative sessions. (For some perspective on how the Secretary of State's Office handled issuing the immunity cards in the past, read our interview with a former state employee who manufactured them here.)

See also:
Legislators using strange logic in ongoing effort to kill bill stripping them of DWI immunity


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Former U of M QB Philip Nelson might have compelling self-defense case, Rosenbaum says

Categories: Law
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The cases against Shelley (left) and Nelson aren't as open and shut as they might seem, Rosenbaum says.
Early Sunday morning, 24-year-old Isaac Kolstad was left in critical condition following a knockout punch/kick to head combo allegedly delivered by Trevor Shelley and Philip Nelson, respectively. (Read the backstory here.)

Nelson, a former Minnesota Mr. Football and Gophers starting quarterback, has understandably taken a lot of criticism for literally (though allegedly) kicking Kolstand while he was down on a downtown Mankato street. But reached for comment today, Twin Cities attorney and legal expert Ron Rosenbaum tells us he thinks Nelson and Shelley have stronger cases than people might think.

See also:
Would-be school shooter John LaDue will have hard time pleading insanity, Rosenbaum says


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Mpls backtracks on "Clean Zone"; ACLU says lawsuit is in limbo

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Now featuring less Clean Zone!
A day after the ACLU announced federal lawsuit against the city of Minneapolis, the City Council attempted to address those concerns by watering down its "Clean Zone" resolution.

The original resolution approved by council in February appeared to give Major League Baseball veto power over the permitting process for a range of downtown activities and displays -- including parades, signs, and block events -- during a two-week stretch surrounding this summer's All-Star Game at Target Field. That prompted a lawsuit from the ACLU, which argues the city has no grounds for signing over its permitting process to a for-profit business.

See also:
Sauk Rapids satirist Dan McCall defeats the NSA


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