ACLU's Client Remains Gagged as Clock Ticks in Patriot Act Debate

September 20, 2005 12:00 am

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NEW YORK — Following an open hearing in front of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York, Judges Sotomayor, Wesley and Brieant granted a stay of U.S. District Court Judge Janet Hall’s decision enjoining the government from enforcing an FBI imposed gag. The gag is preventing the American Civil Liberties Union’s client, a member of the American Library Association, from participating in the debate about the Patriot Act.

At the same hearing, the court set an expedited schedule for the appeal, with September 27 as the date that the government’s brief is due, October 4 as the date the ACLU’s response brief is due and October 10 as the date the reply brief is due.

The court said that it might reconsider the timetable if it becomes clear that Congress might finalize legislation to reauthorize the Patriot Act before the appeal could be decided. According to the ACLU, Congress is set to take up final discussion on the Patriot Act after the Senate vote on the nomination of John Roberts to be Chief Justice which is slated for next week.

More information about the ACLU’s cases against the National Security Letter provision of the Patriot Act is available online at

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