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DOJ to appeal ruling that struck down Patriot Act search, surveillance provisions

[JURIST] The US Department of Justice filed notice [PDF text] Tuesday that it will appeal last month's district court decision [opinion, PDF] that found provisions of the USA Patriot Act [JURIST news archive] to be unconstitutional [JURIST report]. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) used the Patriot Act to search the home and office of Brandon Mayfield [JURIST news archive], the Oregon lawyer who was arrested [JURIST report] and detained for two weeks in May 2004 after the FBI mistakenly concluded that his fingerprints matched [JURIST report] those found on a bag containing detonators used in the 2004 Madrid train bombings [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive]. Judge Anne Aiken of the District of Oregon said that by searching and bugging Mayfield's home and office to build a case against Mayfield, instead of merely to gather intelligence, the government violated his Fourth Amendment [text] rights.

Mayfield settled [agreement text, PDF; JURIST report] a personal lawsuit against the government for $2 million dollars and a formal apology [PDF text]. Over government objections, he later successfully argued that he retained the right to challenge provisions of the Patriot Act for violating his civil rights. The Justice Department's appeal will be heard in the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The Baltimore Sun has more.

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