ACLU withdraws Patriot Act challenge in wake of amendments

[JURIST] The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website] Friday withdrew a three-year-old lawsuit [complaint, PDF] challenging Section 215 [ACLU backgrounder] of the Patriot Act [PDF; JURIST news archive]. Congressional amendment of the Act [JURIST report] in March 2006 was cited as the reason for dropping the suit. Before amendment, Section 215 provided that federal agents, empowered by an order from a secret court, can access personal information such as medical or library records without probable cause. Changes to Section 215 allow persons faced with federal demands for information to seek legal counsel and bring a challenge in court.

Originally filed in July 2003 in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan [official site], the suit was the first challenge to Section 215. Judge Denise Page Hood ruled [Detroit News report] a few weeks ago that the plaintiffs were harmed by the Act and the suit could go forward. AP has more.



 

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.