LegalReader.com  ·  Legal News, Analysis, & Commentary

News & Politics

Judge Blocks Part of Patriot Act


— September 29, 2004

Declaring that personal security is as important as national security, a judge Wednesday blocked the government from conducting secret, unchallengeable searches of Internet and telephone records as part of its fight against terrorism.

The American Civil Liberties Union called the ruling a “landmark victory” against the Justice Department’s post-September 11 law enforcement powers.

“Today’s ruling is a wholesale refutation of excessive government secrecy and unchecked executive power,” said ACLU attorney Jameel Jaffer.


Declaring that personal security is as important as national security, a judge Wednesday blocked the government from conducting secret, unchallengeable searches of Internet and telephone records as part of its fight against terrorism.

The American Civil Liberties Union called the ruling a “landmark victory” against the Justice Department’s post-September 11 law enforcement powers.

“Today’s ruling is a wholesale refutation of excessive government secrecy and unchecked executive power,” said ACLU attorney Jameel Jaffer.

[U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero (NY)] said the law violates the Fourth Amendment because it bars or deters any judicial challenge to the government searches, and violates the First Amendment because its permanent ban on disclosure is a prior restraint on speech.

He noted that the Supreme Court recently said that a “state of war is not a blank check for the president when it comes to the rights of the nation’s citizens.”

Details here from the AP via CNN.com.

Join the conversation!