Above The Law

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Former Shawnee County, Kansas, Sheriff David Meneley used FBI computer databases to check on people who organized a petition drive to recall him. Meneley said he was acting on a tip about their backgrounds, but he could not produce any documents to support that claim. And he found nothing incriminating about the people. Still, once word spread about what he was doing, several organizers withdrew from the campaign, and the drive didn't get enough signatures to qualify for the ballot. Organizers sued Meneley for violating their First Amendment rights. In the meantime, Meneley was removed from office by the state on unrelated corruption charges. Still, the U.S. 10th circuit Court of appeals has now ruled he did not violate the rights of his opponents by tapping into the FBI computers.