RealNews

Part of Patriot Act Is Struck Down

A federal judge in Los Angeles has declared unconstitutional a provision of the USA Patriot Act that bans providing expert advice to groups that the U.S. government has designated as terrorist organizations. It is the first time that a court has struck down a portion of the controversial law approved by Congress six weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. In a decision issued late Friday and released yesterday, U.S. District Judge Audrey Collins said the prohibition on giving “expert advice or assistance” to designated terrorists is so vague that it could improperly bar even innocent contacts with the foreign terrorist groups in question. Collins said the section of the USA Patriot Act is so broad that it “could be construed to include unequivocally pure speech and advocacy protected by the First Amendment,” and that it “places no limitations on the type of expert advice and assistance which is prohibited.” Full Story

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