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Part Of The Patriot Act Shot Down

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the checks-and-balances dept.

Privacy 618

jtwJGuevara writes "In a victory today for the ACLU, (and many Slashdotters I presume) the section of the Patriot Act which gives power to the FBI to demand confidential financial records from companies as part of terrorist investigations has been ruled unconstitutional by a U.S. District Judge. Victor Marreo, the District Judge who made this ruling, states that the provision of the Patriot Act in question 'effectively bars or substantially deters any judicial challenge.'"

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618 comments

First post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10387616)

First post

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awwww (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10387620)

Its so cute! the courts balls just dropped!

Article text (for your convenience) (1, Troll)

Karma Troll (801155) | more than 9 years ago | (#10387622)

Judge Rules Against Patriot Act Provision

Sept. 29, 2004 -- NEW YORK (Reuters) - Part of the Patriot Act, a central plank of the Bush Administration's war on terror, was ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge on Wednesday.

U.S. District Judge Victor Marreo ruled in favor of the American Civil Liberties Union, which challenged the power the FBI has to demand confidential financial records from companies as part of terrorism investigations.

The ruling was the latest blow to the Bush administration's anti-terrorism policies.

In June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that terror suspects being held in places like Guantanamo Bay can use the American judicial system to challenge their confinement. That ruling was a defeat for the president's assertion of sweeping powers to hold "enemy combatants" indefinitely after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

The ACLU sued the Department of Justice, arguing that part of the Patriot legislation violated the constitution because it authorizes the FBI to force disclosure of sensitive information without adequate safeguards.

The judge agreed, stating that the provision "effectively bars or substantially deters any judicial challenge." Think about your breathing.

Under the provision, the FBI did not have to show a judge a compelling need for the records and it did not have to specify any process that would allow a recipient to fight the demand for confidential information.

Copyright 2004 Reuters News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

DONT MOD UP (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10387667)

The judge agreed, stating that the provision "effectively bars or substantially deters any judicial challenge." Think about your breathing.

yipee (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10387626)

first one

This means nothing (0, Troll)

detriment (92950) | more than 9 years ago | (#10387628)

IAAL (I Am A Lawyer) and this is entirely meaningless unless it is ruled by the supreme court. Hopefully on appeal the Supreme Court accepts this case.

Re:This means nothing (4, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 9 years ago | (#10387648)

That's interesting, could you explain why? I was under the impression that the lower courts order would be binding unless the supreme court chose to override it.

Re:This means nothing (5, Informative)

spinfire (148920) | more than 9 years ago | (#10387769)

Only within the appeals court's jurisdiction. For example, when the 9th Circuit Court rules that "Under God" is unconstitional, the precedent in that ruling only affects courts WITHIN the 9th circuit.

The loser needs to appeal it to the supreme court for it to affect the entire US.

This particular case only applies within the district court's jurisdiction. It hasn't been to an appeals court yet.

Actually, that's not right. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10387676)

Higher courts, including the supreme court, have the ability to overturn this decision but until that happens this decision is the opinion of the U.S. court system and has the full force of law.

Say what? (4, Informative)

ShatteredDream (636520) | more than 9 years ago | (#10387688)

If you are a lawyer, then you should know that if this gets upheld on appeals and the SCOTUS refuses to hear the case, then it stands...

This means something (5, Informative)

lothar97 (768215) | more than 9 years ago | (#10387691)

IAALT (I Am A Lawyer Too), and this judgement is binding in his federal court's jurisdiction. It might just be his part of district two (which I think covers NY), or it might be all of district two (which I think covers NY and some surrounding states). It is good law there, until either overruled by the Supremes, or made the Law of the Land by the Supremes.

Based on this post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10387752)

If anyone ever needs a lawyer, ask them if they post as "detriment" on /. before using their services :)

Re:This means something (5, Funny)

Kenja (541830) | more than 9 years ago | (#10387803)

Yahoo, lawyer fight! I got ten dollars on the little scrappy guy with the Armani suit.

Re:This means something (5, Funny)

dr_dank (472072) | more than 9 years ago | (#10387875)

It is good law there, until either overruled by the Supremes, or made the Law of the Land by the Supremes.

That is, unless it's vetoed by Diana Ross.

Re:This means nothing (5, Interesting)

garcia (6573) | more than 9 years ago | (#10387693)

Hopefully on appeal the Supreme Court accepts this case.

More than just that, hope that someone else wins in November and appoints some less conservative individuals to take their seat among the other justices.

Re:This means nothing (5, Funny)

spezz (150943) | more than 9 years ago | (#10387707)

Don't go waving your JD and fancy 5 digit ID around here with your "informed opinions" and "reasonable conclusions".

This is slashdot, call somebody a fascist or a pirate, roll around in it a while.

Re:This means nothing (4, Funny)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 9 years ago | (#10387761)

Don't go waving your JD and fancy 5 digit ID around here with your "informed opinions" and "reasonable conclusions".
Hey, Ma! Look at the 6 digit pipsqueak!!!!

Re:This means nothing (1)

spezz (150943) | more than 9 years ago | (#10387808)

Now you made me cry

Re:This means nothing (1, Funny)

xilet (741528) | more than 9 years ago | (#10387877)

Remember 4 digit slashdot users make baby jesus cry

It means nothing because (1)

unixbugs (654234) | more than 9 years ago | (#10387744)

Why don't they take out the parts that infringe on the individuals rights? They just added the loophole for companies like *AHEM*ENRON*AHEM, and HALLIBURTON to slip through. Big fucking step in the right direction I'm sure. Next we should outlaw all investigations into large corporations to begin with.

Re:This means nothing (5, Insightful)

rjh (40933) | more than 9 years ago | (#10387912)

I seriously doubt you're a lawyer, because no lawyer I know would be so reckless as to make this statement. It's just plain wrong, and I hope anyone reading this thread will remember how dangerous it is to get a legal education on Slashdot.

This judge's ruling is binding within his jurisdiction. That means it's a settled issue within that district. This will undoubtedly be appealed to an appellate court, and once it hits the appellate level, the appeals court will re-examine the conclusions of law. The conclusions of fact, though, are supreme and cannot be re-examined by any court unless they are "as offensive to the senses as a three day old mackerel". (For non-lawyers, yes, that is the legal standard used. The precedent in question is a funny read.)

Once the appellate court rules on it, the judgement is binding within the appellate court's entire jurisdiction. At this point, the law is effectively dead. Other appellate courts will refer to this first appellate court in their own decisions, and it's overwhelmingly likely all Federal circuits will come to the exact same decision.

The Supreme Court accepts less than one percent of the cases appealed to it from the appellate court level. The cases it accepts tends, overwhelmingly, to be cases which have been handled in different ways by different appellate courts (a rare occurrence), or cases which it feels to possess unusual relevance to Constitutional law.

this is defending MY rights? (5, Insightful)

urdine (775754) | more than 9 years ago | (#10387629)

Sounds like a defense of CORPORATIONS rights, which are more and more behind the scenes, creating laws and running the country. We have separation of church and state - we need separation of business and state as well.

Re:this is defending MY rights? (2, Interesting)

TykeClone (668449) | more than 9 years ago | (#10387658)

Yes, I think it is defending your rights - this prevents the government from asking for customer records without a court order.

What does this do the section 314(a) searches that we must do?

Unless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10387660)

Unless that corporation happens to be your bank and they want your financial records.

Re:this is defending MY rights? (5, Insightful)

qbzzt (11136) | more than 9 years ago | (#10387701)

Sounds like a defense of CORPORATIONS rights,

Do you want the government to be able to find out you paid $20 to paladin-press.com for that bomb making book, donated $180 to the EFF, and then spent $120 in a house of ill repute in Las Vegas? If so, then keeping financial records confidential is not an issue for you.

But if you want your private affairs private then you want your financial affairs private as well.

Re:this is defending MY rights? (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 9 years ago | (#10387742)

Or you could just pay cash and use money orders.

Re:this is defending MY rights? (1)

TykeClone (668449) | more than 9 years ago | (#10387776)

Do to much of that and it is called "money laundering" and you'll be watched.

Re:this is defending MY rights? (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 9 years ago | (#10387858)

Use different gas stations to buy your money orders.

Re:this is defending MY rights? (1)

TykeClone (668449) | more than 9 years ago | (#10387885)

As long as they're under $9999.99 you'll probably not raise too much suspicion.

good idea! (2, Insightful)

apachetoolbox (456499) | more than 9 years ago | (#10387748)

We have separation of church and state - we need separation of business and state as well.

... Now thats a good idea! We can call it Citizen Protection Act.

While we're at lets make a law that puts some accountability on those that write laws later found to be unconstitutional.

... i'm dreaming...

Re:good idea! (2, Insightful)

TykeClone (668449) | more than 9 years ago | (#10387805)

term limits and a lifetime ban on being a lobbyist for all people who have served - make them go back into the populace and actually live and work under the laws that they have passed.

In all seriousness, I'm sure that most everyone in Congress thinks that they're in it (at some level) to help their fellow citizens, but laws (and the accumulated federal code) are just about overwhelming, and have unintended consequences.

Question. (2, Interesting)

celeritas_2 (750289) | more than 9 years ago | (#10387820)

Cannot the court subpoena the same records only with more time and difficulty involved?

Re:Question. (3, Interesting)

Atzanteol (99067) | more than 9 years ago | (#10387853)

Yes. The difference (I believe) being that they will now need to convince a judge that they need to, and can be held accountable. No "fishing" in other words.

Re:Question. (1)

celeritas_2 (750289) | more than 9 years ago | (#10387922)

Not that they wil now need, they will once again need. Patriot is only a few years old you know.

Re:this is defending MY rights? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10387859)

What corporations create laws and run the country? Can you elaborate on seperation of business and state? What are you referring to specifically?

Re:this is defending MY rights? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10387868)

Sounds like a defense of CORPORATIONS rights, which are more and more behind the scenes, creating laws and running the country.

Exactly. When a law conflicts with corporate interests marketeers are deployed to stir up human concern. The trick is, when a law conflicts with human interests, to find sympathetic corporations that will allow humans to reclaim freedom and justice.

Pharmaceutical industry vs insurance industry.
Accountants vs investors.
Polluters vs growers.
etc

Loosen their conspiritorial complacency!

Corporate evil. (1)

celeritas_2 (750289) | more than 9 years ago | (#10387900)

This means that the FBI has to get a warrant before raiding your ISP you dirty hackers you. Not that my ISP wouldn't just give any information to anyone who asked if they slightly represented federal officials.

Not just the ACLU and Slashdotters (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10387630)

You can be sure that all giant corporations are grateful as well.

Yay, Rah, Go Constitution! (2, Insightful)

lothar97 (768215) | more than 9 years ago | (#10387635)

The judge agreed, stating that the provision "effectively bars or substantially deters any judicial challenge."

Under the provision, the FBI did not have to show a judge a compelling need for the records and it did not have to specify any process that would allow a recipient to fight the demand for confidential information.

Checks and balances is overrated anyway. I mean, those Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution several hundred years ago when there were no terrorists. Oh wait, didn't they act like terrorists against the British...?

Re:Yay, Rah, Go Constitution! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10387716)

Yeah, i remember when George Washington sent his troops in to blow up british restaurants filled with women and children.

Re:Yay, Rah, Go Constitution! (3, Insightful)

dan_sdot (721837) | more than 9 years ago | (#10387741)

Oh wait, didn't they act like terrorists against the British...?
Yes, they did. They attempted to strike civilian targets and were ready to kill up to 30,000 people that worked in two enormous buildings. They also would have set off nuclear bombs to destroy all inhabitants of a city if they could get their hands on one. Yes, they were definitely exactly like Osama.
I think you might have meant to say that they used guerrilla warfare, which is true. But its a little different than "terrorism"...

But Wait! (1)

ravenspear (756059) | more than 9 years ago | (#10387789)

We all know that it doesn't matter what the intent of the FF was if the terrorists have already won.

Re:Yay, Rah, Go Constitution! (2, Insightful)

Spetiam (671180) | more than 9 years ago | (#10387847)

Oh wait, didn't they act like terrorists against the British...?

Uh, no. The Founding Fathers' M.O. did not include targeting civilians with intent to kill, holding whole theaters full of movie-goers or schools full of children for ransom and slaughter... unless you're going to define terrorism as the use of military force against agents of the ruling governemnt to influence the political direction of a country.

But that would mean you'd have to call Iraqi terrorist groups "terrorists" instead of "militants," "freedom fighters," "insurgents" or "Le Resistance," even if they didn't target civilians and non-combatants.

Re:Yay, Rah, Go Constitution! (1)

rodgerd (402) | more than 9 years ago | (#10387896)

The French resistance did indeed kill civilians, as did various Zionist movements not normally called "terrorists" in the west, such as the Hanagah.

Re:Yay, Rah, Go Constitution! (1)

celeritas_2 (750289) | more than 9 years ago | (#10387869)

Are you being sarcastic or not? The founding fathers weren't terrorists because their motive wasn't terror, but was freedom. Bin Laden didn't attack the US to promote his people's freedom, he attacked for revenge or somthing to that order. That's why the words patriot and terrorist aren't synonymous.

We should start a pool (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10387637)

On how many straw man arguments are posted in this thread before it is over. Anyone want to take a guess? I'm thinking around 40.

Re:We should start a pool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10387664)

26, I don't think it will have as much wind in it's sails after the 150th comment.

Re:We should start a pool (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10387697)

On how many straw man arguments are posted in this thread before it is over. Anyone want to take a guess? I'm thinking around 40.

OMG I told ya that teh Patriot ACt was unconstutionell!! OMG! Damn Bush n his cronie nutjob consrevatives!!1!!111111

Wake me up when it's a supreme court decision (0, Offtopic)

mark-t (151149) | more than 9 years ago | (#10387638)

Nothing to see here folks... move along, move along.

Joy and skepticism (0)

Professr3 (670356) | more than 9 years ago | (#10387642)

I do hope this isn't merely a bone thrown to the anti-Patriot crowd... If it is, other more important issues may be compromised on because of this. -- When in doubt, mod +1 insightful and pray.

Supreme Court (3, Insightful)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 9 years ago | (#10387643)

I'd be willing to be that this one will see the Supreme Court. Hopefully they'll not overturn this extrordinarily wise decision.

I moderate Mr. Marreo +1 : Liberty.

Re:Supreme Court (1)

erick99 (743982) | more than 9 years ago | (#10387721)

I see it differently and, at the same time, I can see your point of view. I do not think, however, that this is a good time to take away the tools that the FBI and other agencies need to protect us from people that rabidly hate us and are willing to die to pull off acts of terrorism. I think the ruling will either be overturned on appeal, or, a legislative remedy that helps both sides feel better about this will be enacted.

ACLU, Republicans, You and I (3, Insightful)

cOdEgUru (181536) | more than 9 years ago | (#10387646)

Its an uphill battle against bureaucracy, against the thirst for more power and its fought by decent civil libertarians amidst others who are running the risk of being labeled as unpatriotic girly men by Fox news and the Republican party.

ACLU has been moderately successful in chipping away provisions of the Patriot Act, desperately trying to limit its broad sweeping powers acquired during the aftermath of Sept 11, when the notion of security drew a shadowy veil over our eyes and across measures of oversight and provided us with the promise of a secure land but taking away our freedom in its place. The people behind it were clever enough to threaten us with more attacks and a terrible outcome if these measures were not passed, but put nothing in place to provide oversight, nothing in place to limit its ever stretching arm, reaching out to our private lives.

Now, the Republican party is getting ready with "Patriot Act II" in response to the findings of the Sept 11 commission, but in stark contrast to what's required, has granted far greater power and reach to the security agencies while dramatically eroding constitutional protections and providing a fraction of added security.

Republicans now more than ever seem to be under the belief that they could throw any dissenting american in to prison and blow up anyone voicing their dissent outside the US and are on a collission course with the stark reality that while we may never die from a terrorist attack, we will surely feel the ever tightening grip of a police state.

Please remind me. (5, Insightful)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 9 years ago | (#10387715)

Please remind me of all the Dems that voted against the patriot act.

Thanks in advance.

Re:Please remind me. (3, Informative)

CyberZen (97536) | more than 9 years ago | (#10387923)

Russ Feingold, from Wisconsin. He was the only Senator who voted against it, anyway (not sure about the House).

Re:ACLU, Republicans, You and I (2, Insightful)

ajakk (29927) | more than 9 years ago | (#10387743)

This comment was just a nice partisan rant until it nose-dived into troll land with that last paragraph. I don't have any clue how it was moderated insightful.

Re:ACLU, Republicans, You and I (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10387765)

This comment was just a nice partisan rant until it nose-dived into troll land with that last paragraph. I don't have any clue how it was moderated insightful.
Too many words. You could have just said "I don't have any clue" and left it at that.

Re:ACLU, Republicans, You and I (2, Insightful)

Stealth Potato (619366) | more than 9 years ago | (#10387839)

I fail to see how the last paragraph constituted trolling. Note the poster's selection of language: "Republicans ... seem to be under the belief..." (emphasis mine). He's not trolling, he's voicing his opinion. Since when is it trolling to have (and state) what may be a somewhat extreme (or possibly exaggerated) opinion? Just because you disagree with his appraisal of the situation (or are alarmed by it) does not mean he's a troll.

One should at least have some consideration for the fact that it's only too easy to resort to dogmatic statements when discussing a strong opinion or belief.

Re:ACLU, Republicans, You and I (1)

Atzanteol (99067) | more than 9 years ago | (#10387901)

In my opinion sir, you have your head shoved so far up your ass it would take a medical doctor to remove it. I also question your sexual preference, and the sexual promiscuity of your mother.

Claiming this is an 'opinion' makes it no less a troll or flamebait.

Republicans? (3, Insightful)

paranode (671698) | more than 9 years ago | (#10387818)

Republicans now more than ever seem to be under the belief that they could throw any dissenting american in to prison and blow up anyone voicing their dissent outside the US and are on a collission course with the stark reality that while we may never die from a terrorist attack, we will surely feel the ever tightening grip of a police state.

You had something going there until this last bit of dribble.

I hardly think you can blame Republicans when 98 senators [senate.gov] and 337 Representatives [house.gov] voted for the bill. Those senators of course included your beloved John Kerry.

What did your University use... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10387836)

to wash your brain? It worked really well!!!

WATCH OUT Codeguru!! There's a Republican behind you thats going to try to kill your children!!

Who wrote this part? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10387647)

I know that Kerry wrote some of the "financial crime" [reason.com] parts of the Patriot Act. I wonder if this was his? Does anyone know?

WOOOOOO!!!!!!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10387651)

At last, some justice!!!!!! Down with the patriot act!!!!

Music Today, who cares ? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10387652)

Music today is so uninspiring it would make Martin Luther King want to watch Friends. The patriotic act is merely protecting shitty music, shitty movies, and other contemporary shit designed to make money. Who cares.

Re:Music Today, who cares ? (4, Insightful)

jginspace (678908) | more than 9 years ago | (#10387719)

Music today is so uninspiring it would make Martin Luther King want to watch Friends. The patriotic act is merely protecting shitty music, shitty movies, and other contemporary shit designed to make money. Who cares.
This is the Patriot act; not the DMCA.

Common Sense (2, Interesting)

usefool (798755) | more than 9 years ago | (#10387663)

Hopefully we will start to see more challenges against this kind of legislation. Like the old saying - you gave him an inch, he will ask for a foot, it does apply to both ways though.

It's also lucky that the PA didn't give FBI the power to ignore unfavorable rulings :) or did it?

Re:Common Sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10387831)

It's also lucky that the PA didn't give FBI the power to ignore unfavorable rulings :) or did it?


It wouldn't matter if it did. The law itself must be valid for any of its provisions to apply.

Re:Common Sense (5, Insightful)

Trurl's Machine (651488) | more than 9 years ago | (#10387902)

Like the old saying - you gave him an inch, he will ask for a foot, it does apply to both ways though.

I don't think this is a good explanation of why PATRIOT act is bad. I reject is because it violates the Popperian criterion of good law (not to be mistaken by the more famous Popperian criterion [wikipedia.org] of what is and what isn't scientific). Popper said that it is reasonable to assume that sooner or later some rotten scoundrels will gain power. It's not important who they will be precisely, but whatever your politcal views might be you must agree that a likelihood of such event is rather high. So whatever law you want to have in you country, don't ask yourself the question "how this law can be used in good hands". Ask the question "how this law can be used when the filthiest, dirtest, stupidest bastards will rule my country (and sooner or later they probably will)". Only the law that cannot be used to anything wrong EVEN by the most vicious ruler is truly good. Now, PATRIOT act could maybe be a good idea in the hands of pure angels. Even if you think Bush and Cheney are as good as angels, you can't seriously think they will rule forever, can you? And just imagine what a malevolent ruler can do with this act...

Missed something... (5, Informative)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 9 years ago | (#10387668)

It should be pointed out that the FBI can still demand confidential financial records without this provision of the "Patriot" Act. Basically, without this provision the FBI just needs to provide a reason WHY to a judge to get similar access to the same records. (Previously, it was all hush-hush.)

Re:Missed something... (2, Insightful)

TykeClone (668449) | more than 9 years ago | (#10387844)

They didn't even need the patriot act to do that - with a court order, they can get all the financial records that they need - and that's always been the case.

Part Of The Patriot Act Shot Down (2, Funny)

5m477m4n (787430) | more than 9 years ago | (#10387675)

was it shot down with a Patriot missle?

Link to PDF of the ruling (4, Informative)

stinkfoot (21610) | more than 9 years ago | (#10387677)

ACLU's site is getting hammered; the decision has also been posted on EFF's site:

http://www.eff.org/Privacy/Surveillance/Terrorism/ PATRIOT/20040929_NSL_Decision.pdf [eff.org]

(EFF's press release is here [eff.org] .)

Eff press release, wikipedia link (2, Informative)

j1m+5n0w (749199) | more than 9 years ago | (#10387865)

New York - The American Civil Liberties Union won a tremendous victory for Internet privacy today in the case of ACLU & Doe v. Ashcroft, challenging the constitutionality of "National Security Letters" (NSLs) under the USA PATRIOT Act. The letters, issued directly by the Department of Justice without any court oversight, can be used to demand sensitive financial and communications information about citizens even if they are not suspected of any crime. When Internet Service Providers receive such demands they are forbidden from revealing their existence to anyone.

Wow, shorter and much more informative than the abcnews story. The wikipedia link for the patriot act is here [wikipedia.org] .

-jim

Ohmygod! (2, Insightful)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 9 years ago | (#10387682)

"The terrorists have won", Ashcroft will croon...

The ACLU isn't sane. (-1, Troll)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 9 years ago | (#10387689)

What follows is from another site but it shows the ACLU isn't as consistant as some say they are.

Quoted text follows.

Explaining their support for taxpayer-funded abortions, they say this:

http://www.aclu.org/ReproductiveRights/Reproductiv eRights.cfm?ID=9039&c=146 [aclu.org]

What about those who are morally or religiously opposed to abortion?

Our tax dollars fund many programs that individual people oppose. For example, those who oppose war on moral or religious grounds pay taxes that are applied to military programs. The congressional bans on abortion funding impose a particular religious or moral viewpoint on those women who rely on government-funded health care. Providing funding for abortion does not encourage or compel women to have abortions, but denying funding compels many women to carry their pregnancies to term. Nondiscriminatory funding would simply place the profoundly personal decision about how to treat a pregnancy back where it belongs -- in the hands of the woman who must live with the consequences of that decision.

Yet when they describe their opposition to school vouchers, they say this:

http://www.aclu.org/ReligiousLiberty/ReligiousLibe rty.cfm?ID=10778&c=140 [aclu.org]

School voucher schemes would force all taxpayers to support religious beliefs and practices with which they may strongly disagree.

Re:The ACLU isn't sane. (3, Insightful)

dan_sdot (721837) | more than 9 years ago | (#10387798)

Awww.... come on
You act as if the ACLU has an agenda that they are trying to disguise under the ploy of "Civil Liberties."

Oh, wait. They do.

If they don't agree with you they're not sane? (1)

Trespass (225077) | more than 9 years ago | (#10387801)

Superficial inconsistancy isn't the same as insanity.

not even the same ball park buddy (1, Informative)

apachetoolbox (456499) | more than 9 years ago | (#10387814)

Comparing the abortion issue and religious school vouchers program aren't even the same damn ball park.

Re:not even the same ball park buddy (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 9 years ago | (#10387895)

I am not comparing those two issues, I am comparing what the ACLU says on those issues.

In one case the ACLU says that people can be forced to pay out of their taxes for things they do not support. But on an issue the ACLU doesn't like it is suddenly wrong to force others to pay taxes for things they do not support.

That isn't consistant, is it?

Re:The ACLU isn't sane. (1)

mrn121 (673604) | more than 9 years ago | (#10387821)

I like a lot of what the ACLU does, but I have to agree that they have very little consistency lately, and therefore, very little credibility. That is not so much an anger-driven charge as it is a warning to them. Losing credibility by making nonsesical arguments such as the ones posted above only makes them more and more powerless in today's society. We need a group like what the ACLU claims to be, not what it actually is starting to become, which is a politcally motivated group with an agenda. I do like the idea of the ACLU being around, and that is why I want them to watch themselves. It is certainly not that I hate them and want them gone.

Re:The ACLU isn't sane. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10387873)

I think you're missing the fact that abortion involves a choice.

Re:The ACLU isn't sane. (1, Insightful)

isolation (15058) | more than 9 years ago | (#10387887)

It is nice to see someone point this out. School Vouchers allow for Choice!

It should be no surprise that the same people that always bitch and want to be Pro-Choice (the right to kill a child) are really anti-choice when it comes to selecting where to educate that child.

Re:The ACLU isn't sane. (5, Insightful)

fireduck (197000) | more than 9 years ago | (#10387888)

I don't see how the 2 issues contradict each other. Both viewpoints seem to adhere to the idea of separation of church and state. With regards to abortion, the ACLU believes the legality of abortion should not be threatened by an individual or groups religious beliefes interefering with the state's law making decisions. The same argument holds for the school voucher issue, just in reverse. The state's law making abilities should not favor a religious belief.

They're both consistent. Keep religion out of public legislation, whether it's laws that potentially support a religion (school vouchers) or laws that run afoul of some people's religious sensibilities (abortion.)

Re:The ACLU isn't sane. (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 9 years ago | (#10387916)

In one case the ACLU says that people can be forced to pay out of their taxes for things they do not support. But on an issue the ACLU doesn't like it is suddenly wrong to force others to pay taxes for things they do not support.

Hmmm. . . (1)

CaptainHurricane (810636) | more than 9 years ago | (#10387692)

I'm not entirely certain whether or not I appreciate the assumption that most slashdotters are "Pro ACLU." Perhaps that's not the insinuation and I'm just reading it wrong.

Re:Hmmm. . . (1)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 9 years ago | (#10387892)

Well, the most valid assumption probably goes like this: - Most Slashdotters are pro-freedom. - The ACLU is pro-1st Amendment. (Freedom of speech, assembly, etc.) - Therefore, many Slashdotters are pro-ACLU. BTW, I would expect many Slashdotters to also be pro-NRA (myself included). In general, Slashdotters seem to be comfortable with unpopular opinions AND dangerous toys.

And in other news... (1)

Elgon (234306) | more than 9 years ago | (#10387702)

...U.S. District Judge Victor Marreo announced his early retirement from the judicial circuit, citing "Personal Reasons".

Elgon

Holy cow (5, Funny)

LucidBeast (601749) | more than 9 years ago | (#10387717)

darn activist judges, the laws name has word Patriot in it! Doesn't that in itself make it immune to judicial review? I mean it not like it's name is communist act or something.

Re:Holy cow (4, Funny)

ari_j (90255) | more than 9 years ago | (#10387870)

No, but calling it the P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act is the problem. It's unconstitutional to use contrived acronyms more than 6 letters in length. (US Const., Amendment 73)

"District Jugde".... (1)

reassor (817660) | more than 9 years ago | (#10387730)

In German its called "Amtsrichter".They are overhelmed by hunderts of thousands of "your fence are 2 inch to close to my ground"-Cases.... So stating something on CNN or the big Newspapers would make him very happy,i think........

Re:"District Jugde".... (1)

josh3736 (745265) | more than 9 years ago | (#10387826)

This is a Federal District Court. They don't deal with "your fance is on my property." That's for local/state courts. A Federal District covers a few states, not a small area.

Big Deal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10387736)

Whats the big deal about the Patriot act, unless your a terrorist, why is everyone so afraid of it?

Re:Big Deal (1)

ddelrio (749862) | more than 9 years ago | (#10387915)

What are we afraid of? We fear history's numerous examples of power and corruption, the nature of man as evidenced by those historical events, and the ignorant masses--of which you are a perfect example.

chalk one up for the terrorist (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10387779)

great news for anyone who wants to deal in illegal business practices and fund the terrorist. how can this be good?

Slightly off-topic but (5, Insightful)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 9 years ago | (#10387791)

I think that George Tennet gave the most damning testimony against the PATRIOT Act during the 9/11 commission, and he didn't even realize it. In his closing arguments, he said that the US knew everything it needed to know to stop the 9/11 attacks, but everyone held a different piece of the puzzle but didn't want to share that piece with anyone else. The government doesn't need any more power to stop terrorism, they just need to get rid of the bureacracy, which is why this new intelligence office is total BS: they are trying to fight the problem of too much bureacracy with.....MORE bureacracy(yeah, I can't spell). Unfortunately both major political candidates think this the real way to reform intelligence......

Re:Slightly off-topic but (3, Insightful)

nb caffeine (448698) | more than 9 years ago | (#10387917)

Bitch all you want about DHS, but one of the things they do (are working on) is to make the gov't work more like a buisness, in the sharing of information for a common goal sense. They still make me laugh with the color coding, etc, but one of the underhearlded pluses of DHS. Now ill put my TFH back on and worry about the spy satalites that i just know are up there. Thanks, mlb

The government has nothing BUT bureaucracy (1)

HBI (604924) | more than 9 years ago | (#10387920)

What do you expect them to throw at the problem? James Bond doesn't work for the US government.

As a humorous aside, I lied, there are several "James Bond"s working for the US government and they don't like the 'licensed to kill' jokes at all.

Praise Jebus and pass the Master Card! (5, Interesting)

psychopracter (613530) | more than 9 years ago | (#10387848)

I work in an academic library that's also a federal depository. I've had to deal first hand with the implications of this POS raping of our rights

I also live in a city where provisions of this act were (mis)used not to go after terrorists, but after "garden variety" criminals.

In making purchases off of the internet or at a store, I had to pick and choose what I wanted to buy with a CC. Afterall, in the hands of an overzealous prosecutor with an axe to grind, my purchase of the book/film for Lolita and The Tin Drum could be turned into "evidence" of my pedophilla or some other such rot. "Would it play well in Peoria" became my yardstick for all CC purchases. No really. I deal with a government that would inflict such craplaw as the Patriot Act on us with extreme paranoia.

(But, one part of me has a tiny twinge of sorrow at watching this act of justice delayed. It's mightily hard to be fiscally irresponsible when you've switched to a "cash diet" to make all your major purchases. It's going to be a little harder for me to be "good" now.)

Judicial Tyrany (3, Interesting)

gokeln (601584) | more than 9 years ago | (#10387866)

There is a fine line to be found between protecting the rights of individuals and protecting the right of the People to be secure. The Patriot Act sought to define the line, giving the Executive more power to track these financial transactions, without scrutiny of the individual being investigated, and with limited oversight.

We need some kind of oversight, because the Executive may abuse the power. Not every executive will be as trustworthy as others in regard to protecting the rights of individuals.

One thing to consider, however, is that with judicial oversight, you can have another form of tyrany, where an overzealous judge prevents an Executive from doing his job to protect the People. We only have an appeals process for this, which hopefully results in a well-reasoned balance of rights. However, as the judicial confirmation process becomes more and more politicized, you can expect more and more partisans being placed in lifetime-tenured posts.

No judge is ever going to rule less power for the Judicial branch. I, for one, do not welcome our judicial overlords. Lex Rex.
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