Supreme Court rejects appeal to lift gag order in Patriot Act case

[JURIST] US Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg [Wikipedia profile] Friday rejected [PDF text] an emergency appeal filed by the ACLU [advocacy website] on behalf of Connecticut libraries seeking to overturn a gag order that prevents a library involved in the litigation from revealing its name, and bars its librarians from testifying in upcoming congressional hearings on the Patriot Act. The lawsuit, Doe v. Gonzales, [PDF complaint], challenges a National Security Letter [ACLU backgrounder] provision of the Patriot Act [JURIST document; JURIST news archive] that permits the FBI to demand a wide range of personal records of library patrons, including library records and the identities of public computer users, without suspecting the library user of any wrongdoing. The gag order was reviewed in September by the US Second Circuit Court of Appeals, which suspended an earlier decision [JURIST report] by District Court judge Janet Hall to lift the gag order. Ginsburg, agreeing with the Court of Appeals, held that the case deserved “cautious review” and should not be decided hastily. Second Circuit arguments are scheduled for November 2nd. AP has more.



 

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