In One Eye

Saturday, October 08, 2005
Here's the latest on a story I've been following for a while.
Connecticut libraries lost an emergency Supreme Court appeal on Friday in their effort to be freed from a gag order and participate in a congressional debate over the Patriot Act.
While I wish the Supremes had stepped right in and stopped this fascistic nonsense, all doesn't necessarily appear to be lost.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg denied the appeal and offered an unusually detailed explanation of her decision. She said the American Civil Liberties Union had made reasonable arguments on behalf of its client.

The client was identified in a filing as the Library Connection, an association of 26 public and academic libraries in central Connecticut that is a member of the American Library Association.

Ginsburg said the New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals should be given time to consider whether the Patriot Act, and its requirement of secrecy in records demands, is unconstitutional as applied to the library.

"A decision of that moment warrants cautious review," she said.

Ginsburg said she expected the appeals court to hear arguments in the government's appeal and rule "with appropriate care and dispatch." Arguments are scheduled for Nov. 2. The case could still return to the Supreme Court.
So it looks as if the Supremes would rather this case play itself out with the proper procedure before they take it up--if, indeed they have to. (Who am I kidding? If the Appeals Court rules against the Bushies, they'll certainly appeal.)

At any rate, I'm pleased that at least one justice is on record as stating that "the American Civil Liberties Union had made reasonable arguments on behalf of its [librarian] client."

I just find it hard to believe that the First Amendment shouldn't apply to librarians.