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Discussion in 'Legal & Political Archive' started by Felt Lizard, Sep 1, 2011.
Citizens Have Right to Videotape Police Arrests, 1st Circuit Rules - Civil Rights Law - Decided
Someone will find a way around it since no one really uses "VideoTAPE" anymore. Digitally recording will be made illegal...
"Videotape" is just the wording that the reporter uses in the headline. The ruling applies to recording in a broad scale on media:
"Gathering information about government officials in a form that can readily be disseminated to others serves a cardinal First Amendment interest" First Circuit Court
About time! Kinda hypocritical to dashcam me but say I can't record them...
Well, I guess the cops in Illinois haven't got the word....» Man Faces Life In Jail For Recording Police Alex Jones' Infowars: There's a war on for your mind!
Admittedly not the best source, but there are links in the Alex Jones article that tell the story...
What circuit is Illinois in?
Doesn't really matter. Once a court rules on something, it is law and the other equal or lower courts will follow it, and attorneys will use it as authority. If that is later overruled by a higher court such as an appeals court or the SC, then what the highest court says is law.
Basically we get our laws these ways: The state and federal constitutions are law, the legislatures pass laws, agencies given regulatory authority by the legislature make regulations which are law, and court rulings are law.
For instance, we got the laws of Miranda Rights and Roe V. Wade from court decisions. Courts are empowered to interpret other laws including legislative, regulatory, and the constitutions, so courts say what the law is.
Technically, one circuit could go against another circuit but it is so rare that such cases would be hard to find. Usually if that happens, it is decades apart when society has changed, such as when slavery was abolished.
This was decided in a separate circuit from Illinois. The decision in the first circuit is not legally binding but has a great weight in actually deciding but it doesn't mean that they have to listen. The only court that has sway over all circuit courts is SCOTUS. The cases that you mentioned were decided at the SCOTUS level not just the circuit.
there are times where one circuit will view a situation one way and another will view a similar case the opposite. This creates what is known as a "Circuit Split" and essentially can fast track a case to be heard by SCOTUS. There's one brewing over 2A rights currently between the 7th (I think) Circuit (Illinois and others) and the 9th Circuit (California and others).
All true. Nonetheless, the cases I mentioned became law due to court rulings, not legislation. Also, when one circuit court has made a ruling, and none of the others have made a ruling, it is an authority to be claimed.
Often those cases are only similar, and not identical, but they have some overlap which conflicts. You are right, then only the SC can settle it. In the meantime, the lower court ruling is law in that district unless overturned.
In the instant case, there isn't conflict among districts, so the ruling is for now authoritative if only because other courts would give great deference to it.
There is a prior case in the 7th Circuit (Cf Potts v City of Lafayette) where the Judge said that there is no first amendment right to record a public conversation.
This ruling doesn't appear to specifically say there is a right to record a public conversion. This seems to more narrowly say that videotaping police officers in their line of duty is protected.
"Honing in on a group of cases throughout the varying circuits, the court found that there is a "constitutionally protected right to videotape police carrying out their duties in public."
This case was brought by attorney Simon Glik, who was charged with illegal wiretapping after he stood 10 feet away and used a cell phone to record Boston police officers beating a suspect.
Denying the officers' request for immunity, the court pointed out that videotaping police falls squarely within the First Amendment's interest in "protecting and promoting the free discussion of governmental affairs.
A significant amount of prior jurisprudence recognizes both the right to gather news via legal means and to film officials and matters of public interest."
Nice. Now the lawyer can set up a nice little lawsuit to sue the officers that arrested him. :thumbup:
Looks like he already did, and at first lost. The great thing here is that this was an appellate court ruling, overturning the lower court. You can read the entire appeal and decision here: