Man runs for Illinois county judgeship on Republican line under the name Phillip Spiwak, loses, wins after switching to Democratic line, running in Cook County, and changing name to Shannon O’Malley. [Abigail Blachman, Injustice Watch/Chicago Sun-Times]
Chicago has enacted a law requiring food trucks to install GPS trackers reporting their location at all times, and the Fourth Amendment might have something to say about that [Ilya Shapiro and Aaron Barnes on Cato brief in Illinois Supreme Court case of LMP Services v. Chicago; Timothy Snowball, Pacific Legal Foundation; Foodservice Equipment Reports]
Plus: “The Fourth Amendment in the Digital Age,” conversation with Julian Sanchez, Matthew Feeney, and Caleb Brown for the Cato Daily Podcast.
“It can’t be overstated what a procedural and logistical nightmare it is to get a car impounded in the city of Chicago.” [C.J. Ciaramella, Reason] Related, Atlanta area: “Lawsuit claims Doraville officials writing tickets for profit, not enforcement” [WXIA, Kaitlyn Schallhorn, Fox News] And Pagedale, Mo., a small St. Louis suburb, has agreed “to stop bankrolling itself by fining its residents into the poorhouse.” [Scott Shackford, Reason]
“We should consider how the technology is likely to be used, not how its proponents say it will.” [Matthew Feeney, Cato]
Chicago requires food trucks to carry GPS tracking devices; police then get access to the resulting data. Is that constitutional under the Fourth Amendment? [Ilya Shapiro and Aaron Barnes on Cato amicus brief in LMP Services v. City of Chicago, on appeal to Illinois Supreme Court]
Tickets — with penalties, reaching an absurd $105,761.80 — all part of a man’s apparent ploy “to get revenge on his ex-girlfriend via the Chicago government.” And it didn’t exactly fail at that aim, either; she wound up paying quite a bit to put the matter behind her. [Dan Lewis, Now I Know]
“In Indio and Coachella, prosecutors take property owners to court for some of the smallest crimes, then bill them thousands and threaten to take their homes if they don’t pay.” [Brett Kelman, The Desert Sun, California, via Dan Mitchell who besides citing this story, and my writing on the new Philadelphia bulletproof glass law, relates local government ticketing sprees arising from Chicago window sign rules and Los Angeles pedestrian laws] The Institute for Justice [press release] has now filed a lawsuit challenging the Indio/Coachella practices. [Kelman, Desert Sun]
- Big news: U.S. Department of Justice changes sides in Lucia v. SEC, challenge to constitutionality of SEC use of administrative law judges [Thaya Brook Knight, Cato; Knight and Ilya Shapiro in August; Kevin Daley, Daily Caller]
- Cyan v. Beaver County Employees Retirement Fund, oral argument Nov. 28: SCOTUS considers limits on securities class actions in state courts [Washington Legal Foundation]
- GAO: 2013 financial-agency guidance on leveraged lending was in effect a rulemaking, but wasn’t submitted to Congress as required. Time for review [Michelle Price, Davide Scigliuzzo, Reuters]
- Missed, from last March: shareholder class action lawyers suing Sprint sought to charge for 6,905 hours of work by (as it turned out) disbarred attorney [Joe Palazzolo and Sara Randazzo, WSJ; Doug Austin, eDiscovery Daily Blog]
- Joseph Stiglitz would like to outlaw Bitcoin [Jim Epstein, Reason]
- Bad idea watch: “Chicago Council Considers Banning Cashless Stores” [Charles Blain, Market Urbanism Report]
A class-action suit charges that the sheriff and public defender’s office in Cook County, Ill. have failed to protect female public defenders and law clerks from detainees who expose themselves and harass the women in other ways. According to the suit’s allegations, the authorities tried bribing serial offenders with free pizza if they refrained from misbehaving but the policy “backfired, allegedly, because some detainees who learned of it would then start acting out just so they could get pizza when they stopped.” [Kevin Underhill, Lowering the Bar] “A spokeswoman for the Cook County Sheriff’s Office said the pizza rewards program described in the lawsuit never took place.” [ABC News]
From Chicago to Baltimore and beyond, don’t assume that consent decrees with higher levels of government (the U.S. Department of Justice included) are the best route to police reform. John McGinnis, Liberty and Law:
Rahm Emanuel, the mayor of Chicago, has welcomed the lawsuit [by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan] and is looking to acquiesce in a consent decree which will create a new set of rules for the police department and a monitor to enforce them.
This collusive suit is a bad idea. To be sure, the Chicago Police Department needs reform, but this method reduces democratic accountability, imposes unnecessary costs, and most of all runs the risk of letting more people die from uncontrolled crime. And it is very unlikely to do what is most needed: eliminating or reducing the protections against discipline that police enjoy in union contracts or under civil service laws.
For an example of the kind of consent decree that is likely to be agreed upon, look at similar litigation in Baltimore….
…the greatest problem for lawful policing is that police departments have difficulty firing the few bad actors disproportionately responsible for civil rights violations because departments face constraints imposed by union contracts and civil service laws. The Baltimore consent decree does not rewrite these contracts or laws nor it is clear that it would have the power to do so. And I expect no different result in Chicago. Thus, the consent decree may retard the most important kind of police reform by giving a false sense of progress.