Patriot Act deemed unconstitutional

September 27, 2007

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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.

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