Monthly Archives: November 2005

ID Card Required to Ride a Public Bus?

In Denver, you now have to show an ID card to ride a public bus: Deborah Davis :: Want to Ride? Papers, Please.

But wait! It’s not just any bus — it goes through a federal facility (“the Denver Federal Center, a collection of government offices such as the Veterans Administration, the U.S. Geological Survey, and part of the National Archives”). That does distinguish it a little from a regular bus that goes on a normal street, but not very much, especially as there’s no notice as to the ID requirement before you board the bus, unlike at the entrance to a federal building.

The ACLU is on the case, and we’ll see what happens to this case presenting one of the issues left open in the unfortunate Hiibel decision.

The aspect of the case that especially caught my eye is the arresting officer’s statement in the Incident Report . The arresting officer states that he told the defendant (and I’m sure he honestly believes) that the Supreme Court approved of a requirement that an ID be shown. But — as I predicted would happen — this police version of the holding mis-states the law, at least as regards public spaces (federal buildings may be a different story).

In the most recent case on the subject, Hiibel, the Supreme Court explicitly left the “show your ID” question open: the Court said that state legislatures can enact “stop and identify” laws which empower a police officer to require a person to identify themselves — orally — in cases where there is some minimal reason to suspect someone (i.e. a Terry stop). That’s a far cry from both requiring showing of an ID, and especially from suspicionless ID requirements. Indeed, the Court explicitly did not decide whether an ID could be required.

In contrast, the Nevada Supreme Court has interpreted NRS §171.123(3) to require only that a suspect disclose his name. See 118 Nev., at ___, 59 P. 3d, at 1206 (opinion of Young, C. J.) (The suspect is not required to provide private details about his background, but merely to state his name to an officer when reasonable suspicion exists.). As we understand it, the statute does not require a suspect to give the officer a driver’s license or any other document. Provided that the suspect either states his name or communicates it to the officer by other means — a choice, we assume, that the suspect may make — the statute is satisfied and no violation occurs.

(The majority also said in no uncertain terms that the decision only applied when there were no 5th Amendment issues, but there presumably are not any in this case either.)

There isn’t much doubt that the courts accept that the government can require ID to enter public buildings, although this has occasionally been controversial in connection with some court proceedings in which the issue is whether the defendant must disclose ID. There’s some danger that this case might get decided on that issue rather than the broader right to travel which, unfortunately, is being eroded yet again.

Posted in ID Cards and Identification | 3 Comments

Sex Offenders Mapped Near UM

Via, I produced a map of convicted sex offenders near the UM campus. 0005.png
Who would have guessed we’d have so many?

Posted in Internet, Miami | 5 Comments Greatest Hits

Several people have suggested that I should somehow identify some past blog posts for new readers, a sort of ‘greatest hits’. Perhaps I should just point people to the ‘Torture’ category and leave it at that, but here (in alphabetical order) is a first cut at a representative list of posts I think I’d be happy to have a new reader look at, ranging from funny to grim.

Odd that so many cluster at the end of the alphabet.

In the event anyone cares, I welcome nominations for additions to the list.

Most recently amended on Feb. 5, 2013

Posted in | Comments Off on Greatest Hits

Grading the Democratic Presidental Hopefuls

Via Kos, we get the list below of would-be Democratic Presidential candidates — those serious enough to have formed a PAC or some sort of committee to serve as a proto-campaign. To which I have taken the liberty of adding my totally subjective grades and random comments. My grades are an arbitrary amalgam of my agreement with policy positions, my utterly subjective assessment of the person’s character (in those cases where I have views), slightly modified by my view as to electability — which usually I don’t weigh heavily long before the primaries; electability gets made in substantial part by how you run for the nomination.

Of course, these grades are just for the earliest grading period. Plenty of time remains to rack up class participation and extra credit points! (Not to mention, lots of tests ahead in future marking periods.)

Continue reading

Posted in Politics: US: 2008 Elections | 19 Comments

Harvard Appoints John Palfrey to be the First ‘Clinical Professor of Law at Harvard’

Harvard Law School has taken a big step towards filling its deficit in cyberlaw scholarship, caused in part by John Zittrain relocating his center of gravity to Oxford, by appointing John Palfrey to be the First ‘Clinical Professor of Law at Harvard’.

I think it’s a terrific move for HLS…

Posted in Law School | 2 Comments

Florida’s 18th Congressional District

I suppose that Florida’s 18th Congressional District, which I inhabit, is not the strangest shaped one in the US, but it surely has to be up there. Its odd shape is not especially visible from the map provided on Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen’s web page, but it can be fully appreciated thanks to the Google map of Florida’s 18th Congressional District provided by GovTrack.

Posted in Politics: FL-18 | 1 Comment