Skip to comments.ACLU Drops Patriot Act Challenge
Posted on 10/27/2006 8:49:26 PM PDT by Valin
DETROIT (AP) - The American Civil Liberties Union on Friday dropped a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the USA Patriot Act. The ACLU said it was withdrawing the lawsuit filed more than three years ago because of ``improvements to the law.'' The Justice Department argued last month that amendments approved by Congress in March 2006 had corrected any constitutional flaws in the Patriot Act. "While the reauthorized Patriot Act is far from perfect, we succeeded in stemming the damage from some of the Bush administration's most reckless policies," Ann Beeson, associate legal director of the ACLU in New York, said in a written statement.
The lawsuit, filed in July 2003 on behalf of the Muslim Community Association of Ann Arbor and five other nonprofit groups, was the first legal challenge to Section 215, the part of the Patriot Act that lets federal agents obtain such things as library records and medical information. The ACLU said the revisions allow people receiving demands for records to consult with a lawyer and challenge the demands in court.
The Justice Department, which first asked that the lawsuit be dismissed in December 2003, said it was pleased by the ACLU's action, which was contained in a one-paragraph notice filed with U.S. District Judge Denise Page Hood in Detroit. "We ... reiterate that the Patriot Act is a legitimate and important tool that has better helped law enforcement fight terrorism while simultaneously protecting our valued civil liberties," Justice spokeswoman Tasia Scolinos said.
The ACLU argued that Section 215, which allows the FBI access to any ``tangible things'' such as books and documents through an order from a secret court, does not require investigators to show probable cause. It asked that the Justice Department be barred from using the provision. Hood ruled on Oct. 3 that the ACLU's clients had shown they were harmed by the anti-terrorism law adopted after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and that the lawsuit could proceed. But the ruling came after the law had been amended, prompting the ACLU to drop its case.
The ACLU said it would continue to monitor how the government applied Section 215 and would remain ready to defend any individual, business or organization receiving demands for information under the provision. The group also said it is continuing its legal fight against a more frequently used provision of the Patriot Act that authorizes national security letters. Such letters allow the executive branch of government to obtain records about people in terrorism and espionage investigations without a judge's approval or a grand jury subpoena.
They probably expected to lose.
Nice of them to bury this in the Friday evening news dump...
The dog lost its teeth
A victory over the terrorists!
Fine, but we should still defund the ACLU. They have no right to taxpayer funds.
Are you series?
Big surprise there!
"LOOO-hooo-zerrrrrrs -- !"
Could not have put it better.
This is good news, because the Patriot Act is common sense legislation. I studied it in school, and many minor problems it had were taken care of in the Revision. While there is room for debate on the particulars, fundamentally it is good legislation, and most of the criticisms (particularly the wacky "they're coming ofr your library records!" guff) was just out of control.
Looks like the terrorists lost a round.
"Perhaps it's time to recognize the ACLU as the American Communist Lawyers Union instead of their disingenuous "civil rights" stage name. "
So it's safe for me to come out from under my bed? :-)
Yes indeed. And to check out all the library books you want. :)
They will refile it after the election.
" the dirty little secret the ACLU doesn't want you to know is that it, too, received significant funding of its jihad against Judaism, Christianity and the monotheistic roots of Western Civilization from the federal, state and local governments. "