A federal judge yesterday struck down the parts of the recently revised USA Patriot Act that authorized the Federal Bureau of Investigation to use informal secret demands called national security letters to compel companies to provide customer records.
The judge, Victor Marrero of the Federal District Court in Manhattan, ruled that the measure violated the First Amendment and the separation of powers guarantee.
Judge Marrero said he feared that the law could be the first step in a series of intrusions into the judiciaryâ€™s role that would be “the legislative equivalent of breaking and entering, with an ominous free pass to the hijacking of constitutional values.
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