Attorney General

DOJ Endorsed Terrorism Exception to 4th Amendment in Another Disavowed Memo

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Reports of yet another controversial Justice Department memo by John Yoo have surfaced. This one said the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable searches and seizures doesn’t apply to military operations in terrorism cases on U.S. soil.

The Associated Press was the first to report on the memo, which has since been disavowed. Yoo wrote it in October 2001, the month after the terrorist attacks, when he was deputy assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Counsel.

A Justice Department official said yesterday the 2001 memo focused on military deployment in the United States in the event of another large-scale terrorist attack, the Washington Post reports. The Post says the memo has not been formally withdrawn but the Justice Department now repudiates the idea.

The 2001 memo was mentioned in a footnote in a 2003 memo by Yoo that was recently declassified. The 2003 memo, later withdrawn, said the president had the authority to override treaties and laws banning torture by military interrogators.

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