from the got-one-right dept
The Supreme Court has now refused to hear the case, sending it back to the lower court, as the appeals court had originally intended.
The Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from the Cook County state's attorney to allow enforcement of a law prohibiting people from recording police officers on the job. The justices on Monday left in place a lower court ruling that found that the state's anti-eavesdropping law violates free speech rights when used against people who tape law enforcement officers.The ACLU had brought a suit to block the prosecution of their staff recording police in public spaces, a main focus of the organization. They also see the refusal by the Supreme Court to hear the case as a major win for the rights of citizens to keep law enforcement from abusing their power.
Harvey Grossman, legal director of the ACLU of Illinois, said the organization was "pleased that the Supreme Court has refused to take this appeal. . .The ACLU of Illinois continues to believe that in order to make the rights of free expression and petition effective, individuals and organizations must be able to freely gather and record information about the conduct of government and their agents – especially the police. The advent and widespread accessibility of new technologies make the recording and dissemination of pictures and sound inexpensive, efficient and easy to accomplish."As recording devices in public become more and more ubiquitous, hopefully law enforcement will cease to shy away from such public scrutiny. After all, in the long run, the ability for the public to check abuses by the authorities will only make those authorities better.