Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Judge Strikes Down Part of Patriot Act

samzenpus posted more than 6 years ago | from the but-what-about-the-terrorists dept.

The Courts 673

Shining Celebi writes "U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero ruled in favor of the ACLU and struck down a portion of the revised USA PATRIOT Act this morning, forcing investigators to go through the courts to obtain approval before ordering ISPs to give up information on customers, instead of just sending them a National Security Letter. In the words of Judge Marrero, this use of National Security Letters 'offends the fundamental constitutional principles of checks and balances and separation of powers.'"

cancel ×

673 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

I, for one... (5, Funny)

Telephone Sanitizer (989116) | more than 6 years ago | (#20497111)

I, for one, welcome our newly Constitutionally-conscious judicial overlords.

It's a good start (4, Insightful)

ShatteredArm (1123533) | more than 6 years ago | (#20497189)

Next on the todo list: throw out the rest of that abomination of a document that is the Patriot Act. It seems more and more often that document is affecting reach of life that go far beyond "national security". I recently had to provide multiple forms of documentation to open a Health Savings Account because of a Patriot Act provision.

Good work, Congress. Protecting our freedoms by removing our freedoms.

Re:It's a good start (5, Funny)

Wandering Wombat (531833) | more than 6 years ago | (#20497201)

Well, you're too dumb to use your freedoms properly. You should THANK your appointed officials for deciding the best way for you to go about your daily life.

Re:It's a good start (-1, Redundant)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#20497561)

How I choose to use my freedom is my biz. If my appointed officials don't accept that, they have to be replaced with ones that do.

Re:It's a good start (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20497813)

That wooshing sound you hear is the sarcasm from the GP post zipping by over your head...

Re:It's a good start (0, Flamebait)

colfer (619105) | more than 6 years ago | (#20497635)

Repubs! Finally want to repeal it in year 7 so Hillary won't have it. Hillary with the Patriot act! Quake in fear!

Contribute (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20497367)

The ACLU challenged this law, and hence brought about this ruling. Hopefully, they will be successful in challenging similar laws in the future.

You benefit from their work.

They need to eat.

Donate. [aclu.com]

Re:Contribute (4, Insightful)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 6 years ago | (#20497443)

I donate to the ACLU as well as the EFF, but frankly I think these two groups should get a grant yearly from the government to keep watch over them. Silly idea? Ever heard about the GAO?

http://www.gao.gov/ [gao.gov]

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is known as "the investigative arm of Congress" and "the congressional watchdog." GAO supports the Congress in meeting its constitutional responsibilities and helps improve the performance and ensure the accountability of the federal government for the benefit of the American people. GAO's work includes oversight of federal programs; insight into ways to make government more efficient, effective, ethical and equitable; and foresight of long-term trends and challenges. GAO's reports, testimonies, legal decisions and opinions make a difference for Congress and the Nation.

I see the ACLU and EFF serving the same purpose, except they're the investigative/defensive arm of the general citizenry.

Re:Contribute (5, Insightful)

drudd (43032) | more than 6 years ago | (#20497647)

Actually that would be a terrible idea. You can't have effective oversight if your funding is controlled by the party you are overseeing.

Doug

Re:Contribute (2, Insightful)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 6 years ago | (#20497795)

Hence why we need the ACLU and EFF instead of just the GAO in the first place!

Re:Contribute (1)

bluce (1149605) | more than 6 years ago | (#20497663)

I donate to the ACLU as well as the EFF, but frankly I think these two groups should get a grant yearly from the government to keep watch over them. Silly idea? Ever heard about the GAO?
Yes, yes it is a silly idea. Know why? If the ACLU was on government payroll, do you honestly believe they would be the same?

Re:Contribute (4, Insightful)

RexRhino (769423) | more than 6 years ago | (#20497673)

I donate to the ACLU as well as the EFF, but frankly I think these two groups should get a grant yearly from the government to keep watch over them. Silly idea? Ever heard about the GAO?
That is the worst idea I have ever heard:

1. Any agency funded by the government, works for the government. For the ACLU to protect the rights of the people, it has to be voluntarily funded by the people directly. The government funding the ACLU is like the Mafia funding the FBI.

2. While the ACLU does do a good job protecting certain rights, the ACLU does a shitty job protecting other rights. When was the last time the ACLU defended people's 2nd Amendment Rights? Or do you want the NRA to be government funded as well?

Re:Contribute (1)

smithbp (1002301) | more than 6 years ago | (#20497789)

Well, to an extent, the second statement is true...government makes money from auctions of seized property and goods, including that taken from the mafia.

Re:Contribute (4, Interesting)

rainman_bc (735332) | more than 6 years ago | (#20497503)

The ACLU challenged this law, and hence brought about this ruling. Hopefully, they will be successful in challenging similar laws in the future.
The sad part is though that government can pass a law, knowing full well that it'll take SCOTUS four years before striking it down.

IMO that's a BIG problem. It means essentially that they can pass any unconstitutional law and SCOTUS will take four years before they'll strike it down as unconstitutional. That IMO is really bad.

Re:Contribute (1)

everphilski (877346) | more than 6 years ago | (#20497751)

They need to eat.

GET A JOB!

Re:Contribute (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20497759)

When the ACLU defends the Second Amendment with the vigor that they defend NAMBLA, I will donate.

So, never I suspect.

Second Amendment (1)

bigtangringo (800328) | more than 6 years ago | (#20497769)

Now, if only the supported the second amendment, I'd be ridiculously happy with them. At least they're not supporting gun control.

Card carrying member of both the ACLU and NRA.

In totally unrelated news... (4, Funny)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 6 years ago | (#20497511)

In completely unrelated news, U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero has been arrested as an enemy combatant who hates freedom as is currently on an airplane in transit to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where he will be held indefinitely. Ironically, it is unlikely that this judge will ever see his own day in court.

President Bush has issued a signing statement declaring that the principles of checks and balances and separation of powers is unConstitutional, since "Clearly the executive branch of government is over the other two, or else they wouldn't have called it the 'executive' branch." Dick Cheney couldn't be reached for comment to see which branch of government he is part of today.

Mod parent up funny/insightful, please! (1)

conspirator57 (1123519) | more than 6 years ago | (#20497683)

Mod parent up funny/insightful, please!

Re:I, for one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20497519)

I, for one, welcome our newly Constitutionally-conscious judicial overlords.
I like Roberts and Alito too!

About damn time... (4, Insightful)

santiago (42242) | more than 6 years ago | (#20497117)

At least someone still has some sense and remembers about those quaint old "rights" and "warrants" and "due process".

Re:About damn time... (5, Insightful)

Trigun (685027) | more than 6 years ago | (#20497243)

Unfortunately, it's not the supreme court that remembers about those ... quaint old "rights" and "warrants" and "due process". And guess where this ruling is heading...

Re:About damn time... (2, Informative)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#20497403)

Unfortunately, it's not the supreme court that remembers about those ... quaint old "rights" and "warrants" and "due process". And guess where this ruling is heading...
Into the hands of Chief Justice Roberts? There are probably enough dissenting votes on the Supreme Court to keep the ruling from being overturned. Ginsberg, Souter, Stevens and Kennedy, I'm guessing will vote to uphold the ruling.

Re:About damn time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20497629)

We can all only hope that this actually happens, otherwise, it's pretty much the whole 'checks and balances' have disappeared completely.

Re:About damn time... (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#20497763)

That's the scary part, and Roberts may well equal Iraq as being one of Bush's worst legacies. His notion of "standing" is the cudgel he may try to use to break the backs of the ACLU and other legal oversight organizations.

Absolutely shameless plug (4, Informative)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 6 years ago | (#20497257)

If you appreciate what the ACLU does, it's worth noting that they could always use your support. [aclu.org]

Re:Absolutely shameless plug (4, Interesting)

dada21 (163177) | more than 6 years ago | (#20497311)

I find the ACLU terribly racist (believing people should be grouped together rather than be individuals) and unconcerned with real direction of freedom from force.

For me, I prefer the Institute for Justice [ij.org] , where I donate my money towards real lawyers who get out and trample on the State that tries to trample on us. I'd never give to the ACLU, which has a history of supporting aggressive government growth when it appeals to them, versus the IJ which works against government in ever lawsuit it files or every defendant it defends.

Re:Absolutely shameless plug (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20497613)

Or, if you dislike ACLU/IJ/etc for whatever reasons, you can strike on 9/11/07 [newsvine.com] , as part of a grassroots movement which has been endorsed by several organizations but is controlled by none of them... and which could mean the start of something big [everything2.com] .

Re:Absolutely shameless plug (2, Insightful)

spleen_blender (949762) | more than 6 years ago | (#20497619)

You have a fundamental misunderstanding of the intentions of the ACLU and suggest you read a bit of political and philosophical theory before jumping to such a disheartening conclusion, considering they are the thin pink line preventing complete fascism in the face of overwhelming military and police power. Granted, there are numerous other groups doing the similar things, the ACLU as an organization (the members of which not necessarily withstanding) has consistently and logically supported the fundamental rights and liberties all people should be granted and have protected. So instead of criticizing the organization as a whole, criticize the individual cases in the organization you disagree with, because the ACLU, if any other group, would be willing to learn from mistakes and make things better. Of course I say this in potential ignorance of something the organization has done that should make me feel otherwise, so if that is the case, by all means let me know.

Re:About damn time... (1)

Bondolon (1000444) | more than 6 years ago | (#20497329)

I thought this almost exactly when I read this. It's nice to see a part of the biggest threat to constitutional liberties finally being acted against. It seems like the Patriot Act has been too successful for too long in accomplishing the point of its name, which seems to be stigmatizing going against it (if you don't like the patriot act, you're unpatriotic, or some other such tripe). Though I'd like to see the whole thing struck down, chipping away at it piece by piece is a very agreeable alternate.

Re:About damn time... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20497351)

It is not his job to determine if laws are just or not, he is a part of the judiciary not the legislative. He should be removed from office immediately. If he determined that the ACLU had not violated the Patriot act then he is doing his job. If he is ruling infavor of the ACLU because he does not aggree with the law then he is wrong.

Re:About damn time... (1)

Bondolon (1000444) | more than 6 years ago | (#20497415)

He's a justice... It's the Judiciary's job to discern violation and correctness of laws. In addition to that, the practice of judicial review is well-ingrained in our justice system, and widely accepted as both legal and appropriate for the checking and balancing of the other two branches.

Congress shall make no law... (2, Insightful)

conspirator57 (1123519) | more than 6 years ago | (#20497659)

Congress made such a law, and by virtue of checks and balances, we're able to get rid of it. Try again coward.

Re:About damn time... (1)

Jabbrwokk (1015725) | more than 6 years ago | (#20497353)

I agree. And as a Canadian, I hope this will put the brakes on our federal government and keep them from changing our legislation to reflect the Patriot Act which has been slowly, quietly and insidiously happening since the Patriot Act was passed.

Re:About damn time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20497787)

Since the U.S. patriot act? How about since the October Crisis?

Trudeau exercised government powers that Bush could only dream about!

Re:About damn time... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#20497599)

Yeah, some people can't let the past rest, that's sooooooo 2000...

Wow (4, Funny)

nizo (81281) | more than 6 years ago | (#20497123)

In the words of Judge Marrero, this use of National Security Letters "offends the fundamental constitutional principles of checks and balances and separation of powers."


Where is the "nodamnkidding" tag when you need it?

Re:Wow (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#20497273)

I agree with you. Unfortunately, I also fear that Marrero's wording will just inspire the legislature to pass a new bill circumventing the Fourth Amendment and this ruling, ensuring everyone that this needs to be done for "national security" in order to "protect" us from the "terrorists."

Now the rest... (5, Insightful)

mikee805 (1091195) | more than 6 years ago | (#20497133)

Now we just have to get the rest struck down.

Now for Congress (4, Insightful)

faloi (738831) | more than 6 years ago | (#20497139)

If the members of Congress had any sort of backbone, we wouldn't have needed to bring checks and balances into play.

Re:Now for Congress (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 6 years ago | (#20497375)

finding a congressman with a backbone is as rare as finding one that doesn't lie.

Re:Now for Congress (4, Insightful)

toleraen (831634) | more than 6 years ago | (#20497437)

Not all of 'em are spineless. [wikipedia.org]

/proud cheesehead

Whoopty Damn Doo (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20497777)

Feingold is pro-4th Ammendment (yay), but he is anti-1st Ammendment (boo).

Re:Now for Congress (3, Informative)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 6 years ago | (#20497453)

If the members of Congress had any sort of backbone, we wouldn't have needed to bring checks and balances into play.

And if we citizens had any kind of backbone, the Whitehouse and Capitol building would have burned the very night the bill became law.

Armed citizens are supposed to be the ultimate check and balance, but we too seem to prefer comfort over doing our jobs.

Re:Now for Congress (4, Insightful)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 6 years ago | (#20497479)

I was there with the torch and pitchfork, but I got lonely... where were you?

Re:Now for Congress (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20497609)

Watching American Idol

Re:Now for Congress (1)

C0rinthian (770164) | more than 6 years ago | (#20497779)

And if we citizens had any kind of backbone, the Whitehouse and Capitol building would have burned the very night the bill became law.

Armed citizens are supposed to be the ultimate check and balance, but we too seem to prefer comfort over doing our jobs.

And of course increased legislature restricting weapons ownership has nothing to do with that.

Re:Now for Congress (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20497745)

If the members of Congress had any sort of backbone, we wouldn't have needed to bring checks and balances into play.
If the members of Congress had any sort of backbone, they would *be* a functional part of the checks and balances concept.

(Of course, then there's that alternate fiscal interpretation of *checks* and *balances* they tend to run with, but at least they would have the separation-of-powers type of checks and balances vs. the executional... er... executive branch.)

Oh no.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20497141)

Oh no, I predict this ruling will lead to the downfall of our civilization.... fire and brimstone, dogs and cats living together, terrorists beating up children for their mill money - real Armageddon stuff here.

Oops, sorry, I mean that I predict that this will be the gist of any babble from homeland security anyway.

That's one small step for freedom, one giant mess still left to clean up in 2008.

Re:Oh no.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20497217)

that's right kids

remember to vote 3rd party, and not demoncrat or repooplican. It's not a wasted vote if everyone does it!

to be blunt (4, Insightful)

User 956 (568564) | more than 6 years ago | (#20497161)

this use of National Security Letters "offends the fundamental constitutional principles of checks and balances and separation of powers."

This entire administration offends the fundamental constitutional principles of checks and balances and separation of powers.

Re:to be blunt (5, Insightful)

goldspider (445116) | more than 6 years ago | (#20497377)

I wouldn't solely blame "the administration" for this, as both parties have actively supported the Patriot Act.

to be blunt as well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20497593)

Then get off the internet and do something about it!

\Not American
\\Misses the old America, you used to be cool...

ahem (4, Insightful)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | more than 6 years ago | (#20497171)

"Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." -Benjamin Franklin

Re:ahem (1)

Antony.Muss (1152597) | more than 6 years ago | (#20497665)

That makes me thing of a different interpretation: "Those who would give up de jure liberty to purchase a little de facto liberty deserve neither," which seems absurd, but nobody really does any more with the quote.

Re:ahem (0, Flamebait)

Chapter80 (926879) | more than 6 years ago | (#20497697)

Sorry, Ben. That's bullshit.

Everyone deserves Liberty except convicted and suspected criminals (within reason).

Even Jeep.

Re:ahem (4, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#20497815)

Everyone deserves Liberty except convicted and suspected criminals (within reason).


I agree with the "convicted" part, but what kind of frightening world do you come from where a suspected criminal doesn't deserve his or her liberties? I mean, I thought one of the most basic, bedrock principles of American, nay, Anglo-Saxon justice was the presumption of innocence.

Re:ahem (1)

RexRhino (769423) | more than 6 years ago | (#20497807)

"Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." -Benjamin Franklin
"Think of the children!!!" - Hillary Clinton

Odds (5, Insightful)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 6 years ago | (#20497187)

Anyone want to guess how long it'll be before Victor finds himself out of a job?... Unfortunately...

I'd take your money on that one ;-) (3, Insightful)

OmniGeek (72743) | more than 6 years ago | (#20497297)

Federal judges have life tenure unless impeached by Congress for misconduct, and while this Congress has no backbone to hold The Sprout's (thanks, Molly Ivins!) feet to the fire in terms of obeying the Constitution, neither does it have the degree of nutball monomania required to impeach a judge for such evident Constitutional common sense. I doubt there's a single Representative crazy enough to ... belay that, there aren't enough crazies there to make it a serious possibility.

Re:I'd take your money on that one ;-) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20497543)

The Sprout's (thanks, Molly Ivins!)

I'm partial to "Shrubya" myself (and simply "Shrub" for Bush Sr.).

Should not have been a judge in the first place... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20497313)

I'm tired of activist judges who ignore basic law principles simply to advance the pursuit of a future high position in the Democratic Party.

Giving a swiff of Zyklon B to all the democrats would already take care of 90% of the problems in America right now..

Re:Should not have been a judge in the first place (5, Insightful)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 6 years ago | (#20497449)

I'm tired of activist judges who ignore basic law principles

Basic law principles... like the 4th Amendment. Oh, wait, that's what Congress and the President ignored. Good thing someone is actually about enforcing the law. Too bad there are so many who would throw out our most basic of law -- the Constitution -- the second it inconveniences them.

Re:Should not have been a judge in the first place (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20497687)

Stop throwing the Constitution in my face,It's just a goddamned piece of paper!

Re:Should not have been a judge in the first place (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 6 years ago | (#20497713)

It's a very old piece of paper, too. If I threw it in your face it'd crumble! That'd probably make some people happy.

Re:Should not have been a judge in the first place (1, Troll)

Scott Lockwood (218839) | more than 6 years ago | (#20497545)

And yet, for some reason, you object when we call you what you are: Nazi's.

Re:Should not have been a judge in the first place (1)

The Angry Mick (632931) | more than 6 years ago | (#20497615)

Giving a swiff of Zyklon B to all the democrats would already take care of 90% of the problems in America right now..

Funny how fast terrorism switches sides these days . . .

Re:Should not have been a judge in the first place (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#20497727)

Huh? The Reps are down to 10% now? Boy, I must've been sleeping for a while.

Re:Odds (1)

Titoxd (1116095) | more than 6 years ago | (#20497321)

Not in a good long while.

Federal judges cannot be removed from court [uscourts.gov] once they are appointed, as Article III explicitly prohibits the legislative and executive branches from doing those kinds of shenanigans.
----

~~~~

Re:Odds (1)

onecheapgeek (964280) | more than 6 years ago | (#20497331)

Federal judge = lifetime appointment, barring impeachment and removal by Congress

Re:Odds (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20497381)

Ixnay on the peachmentimay ordway, it might give people ideas.

Re:Odds (1)

j. andrew rogers (774820) | more than 6 years ago | (#20497347)

"Anyone want to guess how long it'll be before Victor finds himself out of a job?... Unfortunately..."

Before you don the tinfoil, a basic education on the US system of government might be in order. The Federal judiciary are appointed for life and only substantial evidence of gross misconduct puts them at risk of removal by a super-majority of Congress.

Supreme Court will disagree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20497193)

this tossing will be tossed and the judge appropriately penalized for his faulty reasoning.

The Judicial system: Freedom versus Tyranny (4, Insightful)

dada21 (163177) | more than 6 years ago | (#20497235)

I'm an anti-voter [unanimocracy.com] , anti-voting in all elections that I can vote in. Many people are surprised that I said I would actually vote for Ron Paul in the primaries, since this vote doesn't actually give any of my rights up to another individual. But even with so many RP supporters online (and now offline), I still think the only way to reduce tyranny in this country is to get judges back into reading the Constitution, and understanding that the document is not flexible, living, breathing and adapting.

Since the U.S. was born, it was understood by all, even detractors, that the Constitution had one purpose: the keep Federal government small and let the individual States be big for those who wanted a big State, and small for those who wanted a small State. People afraid of a North American Union forget that the U.S. was designed this way: a union of States (governments) that agree to one thing: personal rights and responsibilities (these are one thing because they go hand-in-hand).

I'm SHOCKED that we today forget that freedom comes from a lack of government intrusion, NOT from government intrusion. The PATRIOT Act is a simple proof that citizens today have no clue that the Federal government is restrained by the Constitution exactly as it was written. No laws restricting speech, no laws restricting arms, no laws restricting Habeus Corpus, no laws restricting travel or transport, no laws restricting trade, no laws restricting the People's rights beyond what limited powers the central body has. In fact, the only thing the Feds really can do is to make sure the individual States don't trample on the individual's rights to act non-violently how they want to act.

I'm glad to see SOME judges admire SOME parts of the Constitution, but I can only dream of a day when judges understand the non-breathing, non-adapting Constitutional limits on the Feds. When that happens, nothing Congress or a power-hungry President do would become law.

Re:The Judicial system: Freedom versus Tyranny (1)

sigzero (914876) | more than 6 years ago | (#20497341)

Unfortunately that will never happen. Most politicians don't believe in a non-adapting Constitution so they will not likely vote in someone who does.

Re:The Judicial system: Freedom versus Tyranny (4, Insightful)

dada21 (163177) | more than 6 years ago | (#20497409)

Unfortunately that will never happen. Most politicians don't believe in a non-adapting Constitution so they will not likely vote in someone who does.

We've also lived for over 250 years with a mainstream media that has co-opted, and been co-opted by, the State, working hand-in-hand to destroy freedoms. That is changing, and the Internet is making that change happen. Funny how so much of the web was rolled out by major media entities, only to have it bite the hand that fed it.

I use News.google.com RSS feeds for phrases I am watching, and I'm seeing more than 15% of those news stories come from non-mainstream media entities with a variety of opinions way different than the "eat, regurgitate and vomit the AP and Reuters articles" process that the MSM tends to stick together with.

The web is a massive pool of people who can actually voice their disagreements with the system. As time goes on, and people see they're not alone in fearing and being harmed by the State, we might just find people voting NO to more government, and using the web to congregate as individuals wanting freedom, not tyranny.

One can only hope.

Re:The Judicial system: Freedom versus Tyranny (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 6 years ago | (#20497757)

I'm SHOCKED that we today forget that freedom comes from a lack of government intrusion, NOT from government intrusion.

I'm SHOCKED that you don't follow up that sentence with an emoticon such as ;-) because there's no way you're shocked about the People's ignorance about their rights.

I'm glad to see SOME judges admire SOME parts of the Constitution, but I can only dream of a day when judges understand the non-breathing, non-adapting Constitutional limits on the Feds. When that happens, nothing Congress or a power-hungry President do would become law.

Aren't you some sort of near anarchist (I could be incorrect and please do correct me if I am)? If so, then why do you care about judges who follow the law of the land?

Patriot act ISN'T patriotic. (5, Interesting)

infonography (566403) | more than 6 years ago | (#20497241)

This act is contrary to everything that makes America who it is. At least they had the marginally good sense to put a sunset on it. I think they knew it would be kicked out at some point anyway. Good riddance. Patriot Act supporters are whats wrong in America.

Re:Patriot act ISN'T patriotic. (3, Informative)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 6 years ago | (#20497457)

Hint: Whenever you want a tyrannic act approved, just name it "patriot", "family", "protection", "security" or whichever nice name that will appeal to the idio^H^H^H^Hvoters.

Re:Patriot act ISN'T patriotic. (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 6 years ago | (#20497651)

"Of course the people don't want war. But after all, it's the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it's always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger."
-- Herman Goering

Re:Patriot act ISN'T patriotic. (2, Informative)

sdedeo (683762) | more than 6 years ago | (#20497765)

One of the most bizarre and Orwellian things is that the Patriot act is not the "Patriot act". Its official name is (no joke!) the "USA PATRIOT [wikipedia.org] " act. All caps, it stands for "Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act".

Slight problem (2, Insightful)

Enlarged to Show Tex (911413) | more than 6 years ago | (#20497253)

A US District Court is a fairly low-level court. As a result, this is but the first step in the process. You can be assured that the Feds are going to appeal this vigorously to the highest levels...

More partisan crap? (4, Interesting)

keraneuology (760918) | more than 6 years ago | (#20497275)

While I agree 100% with the decision, I can't help but wonder if this judge (a Clinton appointee) made a ruling based on his true conscience and understanding of Constitutional law or if the thought "gee, if I strike this down I can make the Republicans look bad" crossed his mind, even if only for an instant.

Courts these days have very little to do with a codified rule of law - look at all of the Supreme Court cases where major changes in national course have been made by a single person voting along party lines.

This ruling is inevitably going to be appealed, since the government has unlimited funds to drag things through court indefinitely (zero accoutability) and will eventually be brought before the USSC where it will probably be ultimately overturned on a 5-4 vote along party lines. Personally, I think that any case that isn't decided by a margin of at least three should never be allowed to be considered as precedent, and that if a judicial panel can't rule by at least a margin of two then the law should be immediately thrown out as being too vague.

Re:More partisan crap? (1)

Buelldozer (713671) | more than 6 years ago | (#20497521)

Wow. That's one of the most cynical posts I've read in a very long time.

Re:More partisan crap? (2, Interesting)

DragonTHC (208439) | more than 6 years ago | (#20497703)

Here's the problem: The patriot act is broad and vague. It provides too much power with too little oversight. Its abuse has been well documented.
Claiming that it is partisan crap just makes you look like a fool. Anyone who cares about partisanship is a fool.

We're all Americans (of those of us who are) and we need to unite in the common cause of preserving our fair republic.
These people in power now (who claim to be republicans) are actually neo-conservatives. (also known as reaganites).
Their goals are not those of real republicans.

In the words of Ronald Reagan (a real republican who was used as a puppet) "In the present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem."
This ideology is closer to what we, who think of ourselves as slightly conservative, believe ours to be.

Calling yourself a republican and supporting the party, when so little of it actually shares your ideology, is dangerous and foolhardy.

Neoconservatives have different goals than most Americans. They want a smaller government to have more power and less oversight. They want wealth to flow upward to a few captains of industry. They want to impose social restrictions on Americans. They want to turn their religious beliefs into Law. They want to keep the population scared and obedient. These ideals are not mine. I'm sure they aren't yours. They are very far from classic American ideology. Our current government has the idea that the people need to be controlled. They are leaning so far away from republicanism that they are scared of the people.

"A republic is a form of government maintained by a state or country whose sovereignty is based on consent of the governed and whose governance is based on popular representation. Rule of law is an essential feature of a republic." -- wikipedia

Our current government want to rule without the consent of the people and without full representation. "I'm the decider" -- George W. Bush

The PATRIOT ACT is a way of usurping the consent of the people and the oversight of the other branches of government. It is not necessary.
The reason it is not necessary is because the NSA has been monitoring "signals" communication for over thirty years. They don't miss much.

Good news (1)

Dragonfire00 (1099913) | more than 6 years ago | (#20497289)

Well I am glad to see there are some rational people left in this world. :)

Too bad (1)

boudie2 (1134233) | more than 6 years ago | (#20497361)

It's about six years too late. Let me know when they're getting the tar and feathers out.

Translating the Judge's Statement (1)

gzerphey (1006177) | more than 6 years ago | (#20497363)

Their taking our jobs!!!!

Re:Translating the Judge's Statement (2, Funny)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 6 years ago | (#20497425)

WTF kind of translation is that? English to AOL?

Re:Translating the Judge's Statement (1)

gzerphey (1006177) | more than 6 years ago | (#20497477)

Southpark much?

Re:Translating the Judge's Statement (2, Funny)

SkunkPussy (85271) | more than 6 years ago | (#20497517)

Don't you mean, "Their taking are jobs!!!!"

No, wait.....

Celebrate... and ask for more! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20497391)

The General Strike of September 11, 2007 [strike911.org] is precisely (but not exclusively) about this. Let's show some real patriotism and take down the full PATRIOT act!

Not out of the woods yet (4, Insightful)

downix (84795) | more than 6 years ago | (#20497405)

The Bush admin wll just use their next atty general to prevent these cases from getting reviewed, appealing it all the way to the now-biased supreme court. This is a long fight.

One clause at a time, if we have to. (4, Interesting)

KiltedKnight (171132) | more than 6 years ago | (#20497529)

As many have said before, The Patriot Act is anything but patriotic.

Various parts of The Government Intrusion Act have been struck down over the years, right from the time it was first passed. I was hoping they'd let it just go away through its sunset clause, but they rammed a new version through. So now we start the process anew... go after one part at a time. It may take a while, but it will all eventually go away because Congress and the President overstepped their constitutional authority.

Why... (1)

eno2001 (527078) | more than 6 years ago | (#20497547)

...that's unconstitutional!!! He can't do that unless the president says he can!!!

ACLU (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20497567)

It's interesting that we need the ACLU to protect our civil liberties from being taken away by the democratic government which by definition was designed to protect our civil liberties.

Great stuff (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 6 years ago | (#20497657)

Thank god going back to 1774 ideals started in united states.

Call me a cynic... (1)

newgalactic (840363) | more than 6 years ago | (#20497693)

Call me a cynic, but I think it's the Judge's own desire to preserve his JOB that may be the motivation here. Like lawmakers approving legislation for their own pay raises through in record time, there's no motivator like self-interest.

Doomed (5, Informative)

overshoot (39700) | more than 6 years ago | (#20497735)

The Honorable Judge Don Quixote is tilting at windmills here. According to the United States Supreme Court, the ACLU and its clients don't have standing to challenge this law, since they can't prove that they personally were ever the subjects of investigations.

The Government can prevent this kind of challenge by simply declaring that the existence of such NSLs is a State Secret, denying any prospective plaintiffs proof that they have standing. That's exactly what the USSC ruled in the secret-wiretap ruling recently and the Administration is sure to have pointed that out (I don't have a copy of the pleadings here, but given the Administration's fondness for that tactic I can't imagine that they would have missed that one.

Most of the press reports get this wrong (4, Informative)

Animats (122034) | more than 6 years ago | (#20497801)

Read the actual decision. (PDF) [aclu.org] What the court ruled was that the "gag rule" associated with "National Security Letters" was fundamentally unconstitutional as a First Amendment violation. The issue is that the FBI can't impose a "gag order" on someone without court approval.

The previous issue, issuance of National Security Letters without court approval as a Fourth Amendment violation, was dealt with when Congress revised the Patriot Act last year to allow recipients of a National Security Letter to challenge them in court, like a subpoena.

As a classic rule of First Amendment jurisprudence, when the Court finds a First Amendment violation, they strike down the entire statute, rather than trying to patch it. That's what the court did here. The court also stayed the execution of the order pending an appeal, which is likely.

It's a narrow holding. The FBI can still issue National Security Letters without going to court first, but anyone who receives one is now in a much stronger position to argue about it. As a practical matter, if you work for an ISP or telco and get a National Security Letter, your response is "This has to go through our lawyers."

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>