Key provisions in US Patriot Act struck down third time

[TamilNet, Saturday, 30 July 2005, 00:50 GMT]
U.S. District Court Judge Audrey Collins ruled Thursday that a key provision in the USA Patriot Act criminalizing the provision of "expert advice or assistance" to designated foreign terrorist groups is unconstitutional, despite an attempt by Congress to fix the problems in the 2004 Intelligence Reform Act. The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) based in New York originally filed the case on behalf of Humanitarian Law Project, a human rights organization and several Tamil-American organizations that seek to support the lawful activities of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in Sri Lanka, especially in areas affected by the 2004 tsunami.


David Cole, Georgetown University
Prof David Cole


Judge Collins also struck down two other key provisions of the bill that ban the provision of “services” and “training” to designated groups.

In December, Congress revised the Act in response to her rulings, and the case was sent back to District Court. On July 28, 2005, she ruled that Congress did not adequately clarify the bans on “training” and “expert advice.” She also ruled unconstitutional a new ban, added by the 2004 Act, on providing “services” to designated groups, the CCR website said.

"This law is so sweeping that it makes it a crime for our clients to provide medical services to tsunami survivors in Sri Lanka and to provide assistance in human rights advocacy to the Kurds in Turkey,” said CCR cooperating attorney David Cole, who argued the case. “Judge Collins's decision affirms that we must not sacrifice principles of free speech in the war on terror,” according to CCR's website.


Related Articles:
11.05.05   Civil Group advocates changes to US Terrorism Laws
30.09.04   U.S Court curbs FBI powers granted in Patriot Act
04.03.04   Amended US court ruling protects WTCC, FeTNA
27.01.04   U.S Court declares Patriot Act provision Unconstitutional
05.10.03   Cole, Chang lead US Patriot Act challenge by Tamils


External Links:
US: Anti Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996
US:  Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004
US: American Civil Liberties Union
CCR-NY: Civil rights cases filed by Center for Constitutional Rights
EPIC: USA Patriot Act

 

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