Posts Tagged ‘Illinois’

“Illinois 13-year-old charged with eavesdropping felony for recording meeting with principal”

“For years, [Illinois] cops used the state’s eavesdropping laws to arrest citizens who attempted to record them. This practice finally stopped when three consecutive courts — including a federal appeals court — ruled the law was unconstitutional when applied to target citizens recording public servants.” But the law is “still being used by government officials to punish people they don’t like. Illinois Policy reports a 13-year-old student is facing felony charges for recording a meeting between him and two school administrators.” [Tim Cushing, TechDirt; Austin Berg, Illinois Policy, related]

May 30 roundup

  • “Leave your 13-year-old home alone? Police can take her into custody under Illinois law” [Jeffrey Schwab, Illinois Policy]
  • So many stars to sue: Huang v. leading Hollywood names [Kevin Underhill, Lowering the Bar]
  • Morgan Spurlock’s claim in 2004’s Super Size Me of eating only McDonald’s food for a month and coming out as a physical wreck with liver damage was one that later researchers failed to replicate; now confessional memoir sheds further doubt on baseline assertions essential to the famous documentary [Phelim McAleer, WSJ]
  • If you’ve seen those “1500 missing immigrant kids” stories — and especially if you’ve helped spread them — you might want to check out some of these threads and links [Josie Duffy Rice, Dara Lind, Rich Lowry]
  • “Antitrust Enforcement by State Attorney Generals,” Federalist Society podcast with Adam Biegel, Vic Domen, Jennifer Thomson, Jeffrey Oliver, and Ian Conner]
  • “The lopsided House vote for treating assaults on cops as federal crimes is a bipartisan portrait in cowardice.” [Jacob Sullum, more, Scott Greenfield, earlier on hate crimes model for “Protect and Serve Act”]

Liability roundup

Playing politics with pensions

A mini-roundup: “How State Pension Funds — and 401k Managers — Prioritize Politics over Returns” [Ike Brannon, Cato/Forbes.com, more; related, Eric V. Schlecht, Economics 21] “The California state teacher retirement system open letter to Apple about ‘smartphone addiction’ provides another point in favor of giving these workers individual accounts with a private provider.” [Caleb Brown on Twitter] “Those shares belong to the college savers, not him”: Illinois treasurer uses 529 funds to push Facebook, other firms on political issues [Cole Lauterbach, Illinois News Network]

And as to scale and solvency: “A $76,000 Monthly Pension: Why States and Cities Are Short on Cash” [Mary Williams Walsh, New York Times on strains in Oregon]; Eric Boehm, Reason.

Law enforcement for profit roundup

  • “When you find yourself threatening to find more reasons to put even more citizens in jail in order to protect your revenue stream, it’s maybe time to take a step back and think about what you’re doing.” [Scott Shackford on Alabama forfeiture debate]
  • How IRS spent $20 million on debt collection program that generated $6.7 million in payments [Howard Gleckman, Tax Policy Center]
  • “Federal Judge Strikes Down New York City’s Dragnet That Seized Thousands Of Cars Without Warrants” [Nick Sibilla, IJ/Forbes]
  • Prison phone calls and other captive markets: “Stop squeezing prisoners’ families for cash” [Megan McArdle]
  • “The high price of being wrongly accused in Alabama’s ‘monetized’ criminal justice system” [Ashley Remkus, Al.com]
  • “Cop Who Called Asset Forfeiture ‘A Tax-Liberating Goldmine’ Sued for Illegal Traffic Stop and Seizure” [C.J. Ciaramella; Kane County, Ill.]

Court strikes down overbroad Illinois ban on stalking/cyberstalking

Eugene Volokh:

Illinois “stalking” and “cyber-stalking” statutes criminalize (among other things),

  • “knowingly engag[ing] in [2 more or acts] directed at a specific person,”
  • including “communicat[ing] to or about” a person,
  • when the communicator “knows or should know that this course of conduct would cause a reasonable person to”
  • “suffer emotional distress,” defined as “significant mental suffering, anxiety or alarm.”

The statute expressly excludes, among other things, “an exercise of the right to free speech or assembly that is otherwise lawful.”

Despite that last exclusion, the Illinois Supreme Court struck down the provisions as unconstitutionally broad under the First Amendment. (The Cato Institute and the Marion B. Brechner First Amendment Project had filed an amicus brief). Shouldn’t Illinois lawmakers have known better? [People v. Relerford]

An army of cosmetologist-informants, cont’d

New Illinois legislation signed by Gov. Bruce Rauner will force hairdressers, as a prerequisite of licensing, to take training in detecting evidence of domestic violence [Ann Althouse, New York Times] Earlier here (Ohio requires training in recognizing signs of human trafficking) and here (programs in at least eight states as of 2006, generally not however conscripting the beauty professionals’ participation).

More from Mark Steyn:

…in the Fifties one in 20 members of the workforce needed government permission to do his job. Now it’s one in three. The original justification for requiring a government permit to cut another person’s hair is that a salon contains potentially dangerous chemicals such as coloring products. Making the license conditional upon acing sexual-assault training courses is not just the usual Big Government expansion but the transformation of the relationship between a private business and the state.

Banking and finance roundup

Prosecutors: “Fast Eddie” Vrdolyak got secret cut of Illinois tobacco fees

The great tobacco settlement of the 1990s certainly is the scandal that keeps on giving, isn’t it? “On Tuesday, federal prosecutors…. charged that [influential former Chicago alderman Edward] Vrdolyak worked out a secret deal with other attorneys to collect as much as $65 million even though he’d done no work on the tobacco case [for the state of Illinois]. The indictment did not make clear just how much the former alderman actually pocketed. … The [Seattle-based Hagens Berman] firm has denied any attempt to conceal payments.” [Chicago Tribune]

By the time my book The Rule of Lawyers came out in its 2004 softcover edition, enough was known about the multistate tobacco settlement for me to call it a “gigantic heist.” More stories have emerged since then. How many more still haven’t come to light?