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Thread: Judge rules part of Patriot Act unconstitutional

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    Judge rules part of Patriot Act unconstitutional

    Two provisions of the USA Patriot Act are unconstitutional because they allow search warrants to be issued without a showing of probable cause, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken ruled that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, as amended by the Patriot Act, "now permits the executive branch of government to conduct surveillance and searches of American citizens without satisfying the probable cause requirements of the Fourth Amendment."
    Portland attorney Brandon Mayfield sought the ruling in a lawsuit against the federal government after he was mistakenly linked by the FBI to the Madrid train bombings that killed 191 people in 2004.
    The federal government apologized and settled part of the lawsuit for $2 million after admitting a fingerprint was misread. But as part of the settlement, Mayfield retained the right to challenge parts of the Patriot Act, which greatly expanded the authority of law enforcers to investigate suspected acts of terrorism.
    Mayfield claimed that secret searches of his house and office under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act violated the Fourth Amendment's guarantee against unreasonable search and seizure. Aiken agreed with Mayfield, repeatedly criticizing the government.

    "For over 200 years, this Nation has adhered to the rule of law — with unparalleled success. A shift to a Nation based on extra-constitutional authority is prohibited, as well as ill-advised," she wrote.
    By asking her to dismiss Mayfield's lawsuit, the judge said, the U.S. attorney general's office was "asking this court to, in essence, amend the Bill of Rights, by giving it an interpretation that would deprive it of any real meaning. This court declines to do so."

    Elden Rosenthal, an attorney for Mayfield, issued a statement on his behalf praising the judge, saying she "has upheld both the tradition of judicial independence, and our nation's most cherished principle of the right to be secure in one's own home."
    Justice Department spokesman Peter Carr said the agency was reviewing the decision, and he declined to comment further.


    Read more @: Part of Patriot Act ruled unconstitutional - US news - Security - msnbc.comk so it seems that one part of the Patriot Act is about to hit the dust, so i ask can we just get rid of the whole thing? All the bleeding heart conservatives and consitutionalists on the right can we get rid of this whole bill yet? I mean it seems to be a bill that ACTUALLY IS very unconstitutional.

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    Re: Judge rules part of Patriot Act unconstitutional

    About time. The "Patriot Act" is one of the great misnomers of our time.

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    Re: Judge rules part of Patriot Act unconstitutional

    It doesn't really mean anything until it reaches the SC and that is assuming the SC actually agrees with a lower court ruling.
    "A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murder is less to fear"

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    Re: Judge rules part of Patriot Act unconstitutional

    Quote Originally Posted by TheDemSocialist View Post
    O]Part of Patriot Act ruled unconstitutional - US news - Security - msnbc.com[/url]k so it seems that one part of the Patriot Act is about to hit the dust, so i ask can we just get rid of the whole thing? All the bleeding heart conservatives and consitutionalists on the right can we get rid of this whole bill yet? I mean it seems to be a bill that ACTUALLY IS very unconstitutional.
    No, because 90% or more of it is solid, sound, and good law that in this hyper partisan, hyper charged world we live in today likely would not be repassed and would create more issues. Even years after the Patriot Act you still had Democratic Senators admitting to that much in Russ Fiengold. Our primary intelligence law was written in a time where the notion of a cell phone was science fiction...let alone things like smart phones, netbooks, the world wide web, forums, blogs, instant messaging, chat rooms, text messaging, twittering, wifi, 4g, and on and on. Gobs of loopholes, both helping criminals AND helping the government violate our rights, were found in the law because there was a grey area the size of ****ing texas when it came to the various technologies we have today as compared to the 1960's. By and Large the Patriot Act helped update our intelligence laws to the 21st century so that those loopholes and grey areas were removed and it was somewhat codified.

    For the other portions of it that are problematic, they are being dealt with through the vast various measures we already have in place thanks to our founding. The Supreme Court has been stripping more and more of the questionable parts of the Act away as we move further away from the impetus which tipped the balance of demand from freedom to security. Various sunsets in the act has caused other portions to come up for a second vote and not be extended. Additional bills cancelling out portions of it can be passed. All of these are good and proper ways to deal with it.

    What we do not need to do is take a battle axe to the arm because a finger needs to be amputated. We don't need to destroy the vast majority of the bill which is sound, useful, helpful law because a small part of it is problematic. Perhaps if we did not have other methods in place to remove those peices that would be the preferable option, but that simply isn't the case.

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    Re: Judge rules part of Patriot Act unconstitutional

    my problem with the PA is that if the fourth amendment is the problem, the constitutional way to fix it is to add an exemption for terrorism. this would be very difficult to do, as amending should be. the probable cause requirement for issuing a warrant cannot be removed through simple legislation. this has been done in both the drug war and the WOT, though, and no court seems to want to address it.

    do i want the country to suffer through more terror attacks? of course not. but i just don't believe that demonstrating probable cause is too much of an impediment.

    it seems to me that the best way to prevent terror, at least from the middle east, is to end our reliance on oil and to scale down interventionism. we have plenty to do right here at home, and not a lot of money to do it with.

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    Re: Judge rules part of Patriot Act unconstitutional

    Man, the SS/Brownshirts are going to be ticked at this!

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    Re: Judge rules part of Patriot Act unconstitutional

    There are a lot of provisions in the Patriot Act that directly contradict the fourth amendment protections against search and seizure without probable cause. There have already been a substantial number of limitations on it stemming from the 1960s and 70s as drug prohibition get into full swing, many of which really don't follow the intent of the amendment.

    The real issues that makes the Patriot Act and its ilk to abhorrent is the secrecy aspect, and the lack of checks and balances. Not requiring probable cause and a warrant removes the need for an investigator to have their suspicions vetted. A judge will be able to look at the evidence and say "yeah, that's reasonable", or "you've got nothing, I won't allow you to harass these innocent people." It is that harassment that the fourth amendment protects us from. Instead, suspicions are kept secret, and not overseen by our justice system. Innocent people are spied on, harassed, or even arrested without proper legal authorization. The fourth amendment guarantees that in order to treat a person like a criminal, there must be probable cause that such a person IS a criminal. That's the requirement. Any law that abridges that requirement is unconstitutional.
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    Re: Judge rules part of Patriot Act unconstitutional

    I think the entire Patriot Act should be tossed. This was a huge document waiting in the wings when 9/11 happened. That makes me suspicious. It wasn't reactive but existed in a proactive initiation just waiting for an accelerator to get it going. I may just be frustrated but feel overwhelmed by gov't. That would be well-paid, even highly-paid gov't. Actually I was ashamed of our country under Bush, am frustrated and disappointed and ashamed (Libya) under BHO, and the horizons seem to reveal a dismal future. Hope is not on the horizon.

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    Re: Judge rules part of Patriot Act unconstitutional

    Quote Originally Posted by TheDemSocialist View Post
    Read more @: Part of Patriot Act ruled unconstitutional - US news - Security - msnbc.comk so it seems that one part of the Patriot Act is about to hit the dust, so i ask can we just get rid of the whole thing? All the bleeding heart conservatives and consitutionalists on the right can we get rid of this whole bill yet? I mean it seems to be a bill that ACTUALLY IS very unconstitutional.

    Thoughts?
    Comments?
    Response? [/FONT]
    [/FONT]
    [/FONT]
    It's a start, but it won't be good until the whole of the patriot act is overturned.
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    Re: Judge rules part of Patriot Act unconstitutional

    Quote Originally Posted by Helix View Post
    my problem with the PA is that if the fourth amendment is the problem, the constitutional way to fix it is to add an exemption for terrorism. this would be very difficult to do, as amending should be. the probable cause requirement for issuing a warrant cannot be removed through simple legislation. this has been done in both the drug war and the WOT, though, and no court seems to want to address it.

    do i want the country to suffer through more terror attacks? of course not. but i just don't believe that demonstrating probable cause is too much of an impediment.

    it seems to me that the best way to prevent terror, at least from the middle east, is to end our reliance on oil and to scale down interventionism. we have plenty to do right here at home, and not a lot of money to do it with.
    There shouldn't be "exemptions" to due process.
    He touched her over her bra and underpants, she says, and guided her hand to touch him over his underwear
    Quote Originally Posted by Lutherf View Post
    We’ll say what? Something like “nothing happened” ... Yeah, we might say something like that.

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