Thursday, June 10, 2010

Fed. Appeals Court Says "Screw You" To Civil Liberties And Your Freedom To Dissent

While the words "screw you" may not officially be in the decision rendered by the Second Circuit, their bad judgment reflects that attitude. The issue at hand is the NYPD's habit of infiltrating groups that protest our government (sanctioned by that thing called the First Amendment supposedly) and spying on those that speak up and hold their government accountable. Specfically the matter references the protests at the 2004 RNC and the policies of the Bush Administration.

The New York Civil Liberties Union went to court to ensure that the cops' records are made public...but no dice says the Court.

From RawStory:

On Wednesday, a panel from the US District Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled (PDF) that the NYPD can keep the documents secret, because releasing them would jeopardize police investigations by releasing the identities of the NYPD's undercover officers.[...]

The appeals court's ruling overturns a federal judge's order last year that the city hand over the documents to the NYCLU. That judge had upheld an earlier ruling that the documents could be released with sensitive details "redacted" so as to hide the identities of undercover officers.

But the appeals court rejected that argument, saying that the lower court had made "errors" in its ruling. The plaintiffs, the appeals court ruled, hadn't proved a "compelling need" to have the documents released.

The court has “wisely recognized the fundamental importance to public safety of protecting undercover identities and maintaining the integrity of their methods,” NYPD Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly told the Times. "This was an important decision for New York and for the protection of society at large."

Since when is proving the innocence of the wrongly imprisoned and falsely accused not been a compelling need for information to be released from a police force that is meant to protect and serve? The Appeals Court rests their argument on a falsehood, because as the lower Court held, redacting sensitive information such as officers' names would have allowed both the accused and accusers essential protections and liberties. Commissioner Kelly compounds it with his empty rhetoric that we are all now somehow safer because cops can hide behind their badge while conducting mass arrests and spying on their fellow citizens.

Obama may be President for a while now, but because he has hardly put anyone into Federal bench judge positions our civil liberties continue to erode before our very eyes.