Magazine article American Libraries

Government Drops Appeal in Patriot Act Case

Magazine article American Libraries

Government Drops Appeal in Patriot Act Case

Article excerpt

Federal prosecutors announced April 12 that they would drop their appeal in a case involving a Connecticut library that received a demand for patron records under the USA Patriot Act (AL, Dec. 2005, p. 11).

The American Civil Liberties Union--which filed the original suit, Doe v. Gonzales, seeking release for its unnamed client from the gag provision of the Patriot Act's Section 505--said it will identify the library involved and give the librarian a chance to speak after court proceedings are completed, the Associated Press reported April 12.

U.S. District Court Judge Janet Hall had removed the gag order related to the case September 9, but a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Manhattan granted the Department of Justice's request for a full stay while it appealed the decision. U.S. Attorney Kevin O'Connor said April 12 that the appeal no longer made sense, since the unnamed client had been identified in news reports as George Christian, executive director of the Library Connection consortium, and the Patriot Act had been changed to include a procedure for requesting an exemption from the gag order.

The ACLU called the DOJ's concession a victory, but criticized the government for stifling debate while Congress was considering the act's renewal (AL, Apr. …

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