Magazine article American Libraries

Appeals Court Hears Connecticut Patriot Act Case

Magazine article American Libraries

Appeals Court Hears Connecticut Patriot Act Case

Article excerpt

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Manhattan heard arguments November 2 in a case involving a Connecticut library consortium and the USA Patriot Act (AL, Nov., p. 13).

While the judges did not issue a ruling at that time, they raised questions about the act's gag provision, the New York Times reported November 3. "The troubling aspect from my standpoint is it's without limit," said Judge Richard J. Cardamone during the questioning. "There's no end to how long you have to keep this secret."

The American Civil Liberties Union filed the original suit, Doe v. Gonzales, in federal district court in August to challenge Section 505 of the Patriot Act and obtain release from the gag provision so its unnamed client could identify itself as the recipient of a national security letter and participate in the debate over Congress's reauthorization of the legislation.

"I'm baffled why the argument is that they can't participate in the debate," said Douglas Letter, the lead attorney representing the government at the hearing. …

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