Overview of Changes to Legal Rights

By The Associated Press - September 05, 2002

Some of the fundamental changes to Americans' legal rights by the Bush administration and the USA Patriot Act following the terror attacks:

- FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION: Government may monitor religious and political institutions without suspecting criminal activity to assist terror investigation.

- FREEDOM OF INFORMATION: Government has closed once-public immigration hearings, has secretly detained hundreds of people without charges, and has encouraged bureaucrats to resist public records requests.

- FREEDOM OF SPEECH: Government may prosecute librarians or keepers of any other records if they tell anyone that the government subpoenaed information related to a terror investigation.

- RIGHT TO LEGAL REPRESENTATION: Government may monitor federal prison jailhouse conversations between attorneys and clients, and deny lawyers to Americans accused of crimes.

- FREEDOM FROM UNREASONABLE SEARCHES: Government may search and seize Americans' papers and effects without probable cause to assist terror investigation.

- RIGHT TO A SPEEDY AND PUBLIC TRIAL: Government may jail Americans indefinitely without a trial.

- RIGHT TO LIBERTY: Americans may be jailed without being charged or being able to confront witnesses against them.