We will be seeing lots of discussion about reform of the Congress
  1. The Abramoff Scandal Newt Gingridge
  2. Dueling reform packages only cosmetic (Capital Hill Blue)
  3. Government Ethics and Election Reform (Public Citizen)
  4. The Democratic Plan for Honest Leadership and Open Government, U.S. Sen. Feingold [S. 1398, the Lobbying and Ethics Reform Act (pdf)]


Google has been requested, and is resisting, provinding searches and ip addresses to the Justice departments. The original subpoena, originally signed on August 25, 2005
  1. Court Documents & Summary Of US Versus Google Over Search Data (Search Engine Watch)

    1. United States vs. Google Jan 18, 2006 (pdf)

    2. Declaration Of Joel McElvain -- a declaration by Government attorney, the lead attorney for the U.S. DOJ in this matter. It also helps produce a timeline of events to this point, Jan 18, 2006 (pdf)

    3. Declaration Of Philip B Stark -- a declaration by the person to work on the project, a Professor of Statistics at the University of California, Berkeley. (pdf)

  2. DOJ "justificatin" for Google subpenia, Friday, Feb 24, 2004 (Yahoo/AP)
  3. In Case About Google's Secrets, Yours Are Safe, Jan 26, 2004 (NYT)
  4. Google is working with a US intelligence agency to provide much more detailed information on its search engine users than that being requested by the Justice Department.
  5. Would You Like Those Alphabetically? Google v. the U.S. Government (techliberation)
  6. Google Resists U.S. Subpoena of Search Data (NYT)
  7. FAQ on what does the Google subpoenia mean? (News.com) -- "The Child Online Protection Act makes it a crime for a commercial Web site to post material that some jurors might find "harmful" if a minor stumbled across it."
  8. What Do the Feds Really Want From Google? (Gipe2ed) -- Well, the U.S. Supreme Court for one, which in 2004 barred enforcement of COPA because, while the law was having no noticeable impact on child pornography, it was clearly demonstrating "potential for extraordinary harm and a serious chill
    upon protected speech."
  9. It's hilarious that the US Justice Department is taking Google to court (O'Reilly) with a subpoena for "1 million random Web addresses." Why don't they just ask the US Chamber of Commerce for those addresses? Or, hey, O'Reilly has a book that can help


supreme court

The "Assisted Suicide" decision of the supreme court can be looked at a number of ways. [Slate] [wsj] I suggest that there are a number of levels upon which the court can decide a case and that if the court decides the law is illegal on one level, then it makes no judgement on the case at "lower levels"
  1. Stare Decisis (wikipedia) -- The decision was already made in a similar case and should not be changed because: a) External conditions have not changed b) The application of the law is practical c) It is not too wrongly decided that it must be reconsidered.
  2. Letter of the Law -- The law being considered is "clearly" inappropriately applied.
  3. State vs Nation -- There are conflicting laws, State and Federal, and it is clear that this is an area in which the State or Federal law is applicable, e.g. Federalism vs. Commerce clause, Implementation of Constitutional rights, etc.
  4. Constitutional -- The law is in conflict with the constitution
  5. Morality -- There is a moral/religious principal that the law violates
  6. Liberty -- The law limits the liberty of the citizens.
Note: people can state that they do not think that the court should decide on the basis of Morality and Liberty and that the Constitution's text and Will of the People should be the ultimate authority. -- For these people, if a law is immoral or restrictive that it should be eliminated by the legislatures, direct democracy, or the amendment process.

Note: it seems that the Assisted Suicide case was generally decided on the basis of "2)" e.g. the Federal law was not written to deal with the use of legal drugs for the purpose of suicide, and thus the State Law was not in conflict. On the other hand: Thomis decided that the Federal Law should take precidence, based on Stare Desisis, "1)" as the California law was similar enough, and Schela and Roberts decided that the Federal law was sufficiently broad to cover the case and that the federal law could "trump" the State law, "3)", based on I assume the comerce clause.