Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Judge rules parts of PATRIOT Act unconstitutional


PORTLAND, Ore. - 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."


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.

I have the feeling this will be overturned. I'm not a lawyer so maybe I am splitting hairs but as I understand it warrants were issued against Mayfield based on the FBI presenting incorrect fingerprint evidence to a judge; the warrants weren't issued without someone presenting an affidavit swearing there was reasonable cause as this article implies. So where is Mayfield's standing to challenge these provisions.

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