Detroit Judge Allows Patriot Act Lawsuit to Go Forward

October 3, 2006

Author: Paul Egan

Source: The Detroit News

A federal judge in Detroit has ruled that a lawsuit by the Michigan ACLU aimed at striking down the U.S. Patriot Act may proceed.

The 2003 lawsuit brought on behalf of Muslim and Arab groups alleges the anti-terrorist law passed following the September 11 terror attacks is unconstitutional because it allows searches without due process and removes First Amendment rights, among other reasons.

The government argues amendments enacted over the last three years have cured any deficiencies in the Patriot Act, but the ACLU disagrees.

U.S. District Judge Denise Page Hood said in an order Friday that the plaintiffs in the case, which include the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee and the Council on American-Islamic Relations, have shown sufficient evidence of harm to allow the lawsuit to proceed.

"Plaintiffs have alleged that their members are afraid to attend mosque, practice their religion, and express their opinions on religion and political views," Hood said in her order.