Group challenges Patriot Act's constitutionality

| 8/7/2003

The New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights filed papers Aug. 5 in federal court in Los Angeles challenging the constitutionality of the USA PATRIOT Act.

The group says the act infringes on free speech by outlawing "expert advice and assistance" to groups the United States has labeled terrorist organizations, even if the assistance is humanitarian in nature and has no connection to terrorism.

The filing marks the second time in a week the act has been challenged. The American Civil Liberties Union sued last week over a provision that allows the government to secretly seize business records in terror investigations.

The latest case involves American activists and aid workers with ties to Turkey's Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, both of which have been declared terrorist groups by Secretary of State Colin L. Powell.