Parts of Patriot Act Struck Down

According to , parts of the Patriot Act were struck down today by a federal judge in the district court in Manhattan. In particular, the use of national security letters by the FBI to force communications companies to turn over their records and prevents the companies from disclosure was ruled unconstitutional. This is one of the parts of the act that had been previously found unconstitutional, and which Congress attempted to correct when passing the extension of the Patriot Act.

Judge Victor Marrera found the minimal changes to the act lacking, stating

“When the judiciary lowers its guard on the Constitution, it opens
the door to far-reaching invasions of privacy,” Judge Marrero wrote,
pointing to discredited
cases endorsing the internment of Japanese-Americans during the Second
World War and racially segregated railroad cars in the 19th century.

only thing left of the judiciary’s function for those Americans in that
experience,” he wrote, “was a symbolic act: to sing a requiem and lower
the flag on the Bill of Rights.”

The judge did not immediately enforce the ruling, giving the government an opportunity to appeal first.


A copy of the decision is attached below.


September 6, 2007 - 6:56pm