New York, NY, September 6, 2007—PEN American Center welcomed U.S. District Court Judge Victor Marrero’s decision striking down the amended Patriot Act’s National Security Letter (NSL) provision. The ACLU challenged the law in Doe v. Gonzales, arguing that changes made by Congress in the USA Patriot Act did not bring the NSL provision into compliance with constitutional requirements. PEN American Center submitted an amicus brief sharing the plaintiff’s concerns and highlighting the particular threat posed to intellectual and academic freedom.

Larry Siems, Director of PEN’s Freedom to Write and International Programs, declared today that “PEN is thrilled with this ruling. It affirms two principles that PEN has sought to advance. First, that the gag orders that accompanied Patriot Act powers violated the First Amendment, and second, that the courts have a crucial role to play in preventing unconstitutional abuses of power in the name of national security.”


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Larry Siems, (212) 334-1660 ext. 105, [email protected]