Doesn’t anybody understand the Constitution?


Via Glenn Reynolds, a rather amazing case of local government oppression:

An Orange County couple has been ordered to stop holding a Bible study in their home on the grounds that the meeting violates a city ordinance as a “church” and not as a private gathering.

Homeowners Chuck and Stephanie Fromm, of San Juan Capistrano, were fined $300 earlier this month for holding what city officials called “a regular gathering of more than three people”.

Friendly reminder:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The “free exercise” clause has applied to states since 1940, and the “freedom of assembly” clause has applied since 1937. The officials who are enforcing this ordinance should be impeached or, failing that, required to pay damages.

Update: FBI Cell-Phone Tracking Device Sets Up Constitutional Clash

The Wall Street Journal yesterday reported on the FBI’s use of a little-known cell-phone tracking device that is being challenged in court on constitutional grounds.  The device, generically called a “stingray,” is a small box that can triangulate the location of a cell phone even if the phone is not making any calls.  Essentially, a stingray works by pretending to be a cell-phone tower.  The devices are used by a variety of law enforcement agencies.  The FBI has been so secretive about its use of the device that they have been deleting the data gathered in its use–largely, they maintain, to prevent criminals from knowing the device’s capabilities…

Update 2:

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