Patriot Act deemed unconstitutional

September 27, 2007


Well not the whole Patriot Act, hopefully that ruling is on the way. But two provisions have been struck down. Yesterday the two provisions were struck down in response to a suit brought about by Brandon Mayfield, a Portland, Oregon, attorney who was wrongly arrested for alleged involvement in the 2004 Madrid train bombings. Mayfield has already won 2 million dollars in damages. The case was decided by Judge Aiken, a liberal judge appointed by Clinton. Aiken ruled that FISA, as amended by the Patriot Act, permits the government to conduct surveillance and searches targeting Americans without satisfying the probable-cause standard in the Fourth Amendment. Aiken noted that FISA does not require that the subject of a search be notified, although the Fourth Amendment ordinarily does. In addition, she said, the Fourth Amendment requires particularity — authorities seeking a search warrant, for example, must list what they are looking for and where they are looking for it.

Breathe easy American, you are a little freer today.