Part of U.S. Patriot Act takes legal blow

Sept. 27, 2007 at 7:42 AM
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PORTLAND, Ore., Sept. 27 (UPI) -- Two provisions of the Bush administration's USA Patriot Act have been struck down as unconstitutional by a federal judge in Oregon.

In a 44-page decision, U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken struck down the provisions involving intelligence gathering and searches in a challenge brought by an Oregon man wrongly arrested on terror charges in 2004, the Portland (Ore.) Oregonian reported Thursday.

Brandon Mayfield, a Muslim lawyer in Portland, was arrested by the FBI for alleged involvement in the 2004 Madrid train bombings. He was cleared, the FBI apologized and Mayfield was awarded $2 million.

However, he continued his challenge of the Patriot Act and told reporters after the ruling he was satisfied.

"This is an example of the judicial branch doing what it should do and that's to be a check and balance for the legislative and executive branch of government," he said.

Justice Department spokesman Dean Boyd told CNN the ruling was being studied to determine if an appeal would be filed.

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