Federal judge rules part of Patriot Act unconstitutional

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by bamthin, Jan 26, 2004.

  1. bamthin
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    Federal judge rules part of Patriot Act unconstitutional

    LOS ANGELES, California (AP) --A federal judge has declared unconstitutional a portion of the USA Patriot Act that bars giving expert advice or assistance to groups designated international terrorist organizations.

    The ruling marks the first court decision to declare a part of the post-September 11, 2001 anti-terrorism statute unconstitutional, said David Cole, a Georgetown University law professor who argued the case on behalf of the Humanitarian Law Project.

    In a ruling handed down late Friday and made available Monday, U.S. District Judge Audrey Collins said the ban on providing "expert advice or assistance" is impermissibly vague, in violation of the First and Fifth Amendments.

    John Tyler, the Justice Department attorney who argued the case, had no comment and referred calls to the department press office in Washington. A message left there was not immediately returned.

    The case before the court involved five groups and two U.S. citizens seeking to provide support for lawful, nonviolent activities on behalf of Kurdish refugees in Turkey.

    The Humanitarian Law Project, which brought the lawsuit, said the plaintiffs were threatened with 15 years in prison if they advised groups on seeking a peaceful resolution of the Kurds' campaign for self-determination in Turkey.

    The judge's ruling said the law, as written, does not differentiate between impermissible advice on violence and encouraging the use of peaceful, nonviolent means to achieve goals.

    "The USA Patriot Act places no limitation on the type of expert advice and assistance which is prohibited and instead bans the provision of all expert advice and assistance regardless of its nature," the judge said.

    Cole declared the ruling "a victory for everyone who believes the war on terrorism ought to be fought consistent with constitutional principles."



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    -Bam
     
  2. jimnyc
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    jimnyc ...

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    I have no problem with their declaration about that part. At least the good stuff stays.
     
  3. Bullypulpit
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    Bullypulpit Senior Member

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    ...Next, they need to address the sneek-and-peek searches, the broadened FISA powers, the COINTELPRO type FBI operations, the list is almost endless.
     
  4. jimnyc
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    jimnyc ...

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    Too bad they aren't.

    Now watch out for them black helicopters! (and for the MIB looking in your windows at night)
     
  5. Bullypulpit
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    Bullypulpit Senior Member

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    ...There is increasing discomfort amongst many members of Congress, conservative and liberal alike, with the USA PATRIOT Act. It went largely unread before it was voted on, and now that they are seeing the monstrosity they passed, they are have second thoughts.

    If you compare it to the Domestic Security Act passed by the German Parliament after the burning of the Reichstag, the PATRIOT Act gives broader powers to Dubbyuh than the Domestic Security Act gave to Hitler.
     
  6. jimnyc
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    jimnyc ...

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    Why would I do something as stupid as to compare those two? One was decades ago, the other is the present. One was in Germany, this is the USA. Bush is not Hitler. You really need to get a grip.
     
  7. Bern80
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    Bern80 Gold Member

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    see response to Herr Ashcroft
     

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