A prominent national Islamic civil rights and
advocacy group today welcomed a ruling by a federal court which struck down
as ‘unconstitutional’ an important provision of USA Patriot Act that gives
the government unchecked authority to issue “national security letters” to
obtain sensitive customer records. Judge Victor Marrero of the Southern
District of New York also found a broad gag provision in the law to be an
“unconstitutional prior restraint” on free speech.
In a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and New
York Civil Liberties Union, Judge Marrero struck down Section 505 of USA
PATRIOT on the grounds that it violates free speech rights under the First
Amendment as well as the right to be free from unreasonable searches under
the Fourth Amendment.
“This landmark ruling proves that our constitution is still the fundamental
law of the land and that there are provisions of USA PATRIOT which have
absolutely no place in our legal system,” said CAIR national legal director
The ACLU, CAIR and other organizations are also named plaintiffs in another
federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Section 215 of USA
CAIR, America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group, is headquartered in
Washington, D.C., and has 30 regional offices nationwide and in Canada.
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