ACRU

ACLU Drops Patriot Act Challenge

The Associated Press reported on 28 October that the ACLU has dropped its challenge to the Patriot Act claiming that “due to changes made in the law in its recent reenactment,” the Act was now acceptable.

The ACLU had filed the case in July 2003 on behalf of the Muslim Community Association of Ann Arbor and five other nonprofit groups. It was the first legal challenge to Section 215, the part of the Patriot Act that allows federal agents to obtain such things as library records and medical information.

The ACLU announced, however, that it remained ready to defend any business, organization or individual who received demands to produce information under that Section of the Act. The ACLU also said it would “continue its fight” against other provisions of the Act which allow national security letters for investigation of specific terror suspects.

Based on what the ACLU said when it filed this case, the Patriot Act was one of the greatest affronts to American freedoms in history. All of the objections made by the ACLU were raised in the debate in Congress to reenact the law, mostly by Representatives and Senators on the Democrat side of the aisle. And with those arguments made, Congress revised and reenacted the law.

Actions speak louder than words. By dismissing the case, the ACLU acknowledged that the law as revised is certain to be approved by the courts, and therefore the better part of valor was for it to throw in the towel and retreat from the case.