By Adam Liptak The New York Times 11/29/06

A federal judge in Los Angeles has ruled that President Bush’s designation of 27 groups and individuals as “specially designated global terrorists” in a Sept. 23, 2001, executive order violated the Constitution because it was made without any announced standards.

The order “provides no explanation of the basis upon which these 27 groups and individuals were designated,” the judge, Audrey B. Collins of Federal District Court in Los Angeles, wrote Monday.

“The president’s designation authority is subject only to his unfettered discretion.”

That means, Judge Collins wrote, that “the president’s designation authority is constitutionally vague.”

David Cole, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, said yesterday that Judge Collins had broken new ground.

“It’s the first decision to challenge the constitutionality of what is clearly the broadest power to blacklist individuals and groups on the statute books,” Mr. Cole said.

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