American Samizdat

Friday, October 12, 2007. *
Bush administration appeals Patriot Act ruling in Oregon case
10/10/2007, 1:11 p.m. PDTBy WILLIAM MCCALL The Associated Press

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Bush administration is appealing a ruling by a federal judge in Oregon striking down key portions of the USA Patriot Act as unconstitutional.

U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken ruled last month the act cannot be used to authorize secret searches and wiretapping to gather criminal evidence — instead of intelligence gathering — without violating the Fourth Amendment ban on unreasonable searches and seizures.

The ruling came in a challenge to the act by Brandon Mayfield, a Portland lawyer whose home and office were secretly searched and bugged after the FBI misidentified a fingerprint in the Madrid train bombings that killed 191 people in 2004.

The FBI apologized to Mayfield for the mistake and the federal government settled his lawsuit for $2 million.

But Mayfield challenged the Patriot Act over the searches and surveillance, winning a sharply worded ruling from Aiken that criticized the government for "asking this court to, in essence, amend the Bill of Rights ... "

Mayfield's attorney, Elden Rosenthal, said he had been notified of the appeal and was expecting a briefing schedule, but had no other comment.

The Justice Department, in a statement released after the ruling, said "we are concerned that if its reasoning were adopted and extended by other courts, it could have a significant impact on our ability to effectively share information in terrorism and other national security investigations."

The notice of appeal was filed Tuesday with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
posted by Uncle $cam at 1:45 AM
Post a Comment

Site Meter

Creative Commons License