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Judge skeptical toward anti-terror law argument

NEW YORK — A federal judge says she is “extremely skeptical” that a lawsuit can succeed in striking down a law giving the government wide powers to regulate the detention, interrogation and prosecution of suspected terrorists.


Judge Katherine Forrest opened a day-long hearing on the subject Thursday by saying legal precedents seemed to pave the way for the law to be found constitutional. She also surprised lawyers who brought a lawsuit challenging the law on behalf of journalists, scholars and others by saying the First Amendment did not seem to be central to the law.


Forrest said she did not believe all speech is encumbered by the First Amendment. The government said in court papers that fears by those who brought the lawsuit were baseless.