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US Justice Department assails city use of Patriot Act against homeless man

[JURIST] The US Justice Department Wednesday called a city invocation of the Patriot Act [text] as a defense in a suit by a homeless man an "overreaching application of the law." Summit, New Jersey [official website] cited the act in response to a lawsuit by Richard Kreimer [AP profile], alleging that the it violated his and other homeless persons' constitutional rights when local police officers forcefully removed them from the train station. The city argued that the Act allowed it to take actions to protect against potential "attacks and other violence against [the] mass transportation system". In 1991, Kreimer won a lawsuit against the town of Morristown when a federal judge held that the policy of evicting persons from public libraries based on personal hygiene violated the freedom of speech, due process and equal protection rights of homeless persons. The ruling was reversed on appeal [opinion text]. AP has more.

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