Tag Archives | PATRIOT Act

Does The Patriot Act Violate Free Speech?

Do monkeys eat bananas? Come on Supremes, do the right thing. Report from NPR:

The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Tuesday in a case that pits an individual’s right of free speech and association against a federal law aimed at combating terrorism. At issue is part of the Patriot Act that makes it a crime for an American citizen to engage in peaceful lawful activity on behalf of any group designated as a terrorist organization.

Federal law makes it a crime to provide material support to any organization designated as a terrorist group by the secretary of state. But the definition of material support includes not just providing weapons or money or bomb-making skills; it includes providing any sort of expert advice, training or personnel — including advice on how to resolve disputes peaceably or training on how to make human rights claims before the United Nations.

The nonprofit Humanitarian Law Project has a long history of engaging in such activity, mediating international conflicts and promoting human rights.

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Authority to Spy on Americans Unclear as Patriot Act Expires

Why aren’t we hearing more about this chance to rid ourselves of the most unconstitutional piece of legislation in recent memory, the PATRIOT Act? Elizabeth Gorman files this rare report for ABC News:

Rushed into law by Congress just weeks after Sept. 11, 2001 three controversial provisions of the Patriot Act granting officials far-reaching surveillance and seizure powers in the name of national security, are due to expire this New Year’s Eve.

Two differing bills passed by the House and Senate judiciary committees in recent weeks will have to be reconciled in Congress, but only when the Senate isn’t backlogged by health care, Democratic aides told ABC News.

“This critical legislation protects our national security, as well as our civil liberties, and the clock is ticking,” said Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wisc., an author of President Bush’s 2001 Patriot Act and former chairman of the House Judiciary Committee under the Bush administration.

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