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Legislators examine police surveillance power

  • Published in State

The General Assembly House Judiciary Committee is revisiting whether police use of surveillance technology without a warrant is constitutional as delegates prepare for the 2017 legislative session.

State Del. David Moon (D-20), who represents Montgomery County and sits on the committee, said the committee halted two surveillance bills marked “unfavorable” during the 2016 legislative session, to schedule a study, or briefing, which they held in Annapolis Oct. 25.

Moon and state Del. Charles Sydnor III (D- 44B) of Baltimore County each sponsored one of the bills.

Moon said he is concerned law enforcement officers can test new technology without notifying the public.

“We know the trend is law enforcement is going to use it until they’re told not to or until (they’re regulated),” Moon said.

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The First Amendment and you

The First Amendment to the Constitution covers a great deal in very few words. Specifically it states: "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."

If there is one word that is the most significant among the 44 words that comprise the amendment it is the word "Congress". The amendment is intended to prevent "Congress", and by Congress, the government, from enacting laws that would violate an individual's right to practicing his or her religion or exercising his or her right to free speech, a free press, assembling peaceably, or petitioning the government.

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Congressional Candidates Support National Shield Law

  • Published in News

JK016739ROCKVILLE -- All nine candidates running in the 8th congressional district said they would support and sponsor a national shield law to protect journalists and their sources if they are elected to Congress.

During a debate hosted by the Montgomery County Sentinel Saturday at the Executive Office Building, state Sen. Jamie Raskin (D-20) paraphrased a quote from former President Thomas Jefferson by saying, "If I had to choose between a government without a newspaper or a newspaper without a government, I would not hesitate a moment to choose the latter.'

"The newspapers, which are under tremendous heat and economic stress... are an essential public voice and watchdog in what takes place in corporate America," said Raskin. "Not only would I support it and will I support it, I've been supporting it. And I would absolutely sponsor it because the last thing reporters need is more judges and cops and prosecutors breathing down their necks."

State Del. Kumar Barve (D-17) added that he tells his friends and relatives in India that "we aren't free because we're rich.

"We're rich because we're free. And there's no way to be free unless you protect the fourth estate," he said.

For former news anchor Kathleen Matthews (D), the issue is personal.

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Leggett sides with civil liberties supporters

  • Published in Local

IkeLeggettROCKVILLE – Due to actions by the county executive this week, Montgomery County is just one of three jurisdictions in Maryland that requires probable cause per the Fourth Amendment before honoring a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainer request for undocumented immigrants being held in local detention centers.

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