Wednesday, December 13, 2006

ACLU Fighting Justice Department Over Secret Document

Josh Gerstein writes on The New York Sun:

A Justice Department demand for the return of a classified document sent to the American Civil Liberties Union is triggering a First Amendment battle that could have wide-ranging implications for journalists and others who track national security matters.

The ACLU disclosed yesterday that it is fighting a federal grand jury subpoena that seeks "any and all copies" of a 3 1/2 page document, marked "secret," that was sent by e-mail to the group in October by a source whom ACLU officials declined to identify.

"This is the first time in our knowledge in the ACLU's 86-year history that we've been asked to make a document disappear from our files," the group's executive director, Anthony Romero, told reporters yesterday. "We resist such an effort as a matter of principle and as a matter of right."

On Monday, the ACLU moved to quash the subpoena, which was issued on November 20. Judge Jed Rakoff has put aspects of the dispute under seal, but the civil liberties group said he agreed yesterday to make the subpoena and some of the legal filings public.

More here.


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