ACLU Withdraws Lawsuit Challenging Patriot Act
Sunday, October 29, 2006; Page A10
The American Civil Liberties Union has dropped a
three-year-old lawsuit challenging the
constitutionality of the USA Patriot Act, months after
Congress rewrote parts of the law.
The ACLU said Friday it is withdrawing the lawsuit
because of "improvements to the law."
"While the reauthorized Patriot Act is far from
perfect, we succeeded in stemming the damage from some
of the Bush administration's most reckless policies,"
Ann Beeson, the New York-based associate legal
director of the ACLU, said in a written statement.
The Justice Department said it is pleased with the
"The Patriot Act is a legitimate and important tool
that has better helped law enforcement fight terrorism
while simultaneously protecting our valued civil
liberties," Justice spokeswoman Tasia Scolinos said in
The Justice Department argued last month that
amendments approved by Congress in March had corrected
any constitutional flaws in the Patriot Act.
The lawsuit, filed in July 2003 on behalf of the
Muslim Community Association of Ann Arbor, Mich., and
five other nonprofit groups, was the first legal
challenge to Section 215. That part of the Patriot Act
lets federal agents obtain such things as library
records and medical information.
The ACLU said the revisions allow people receiving
demands for records to consult with a lawyer and
challenge the demands in court.