Court Hears Arguments in Challenge to Material Support of Terrorism Law
Scotus Blog has a detailed recap of today's oral arguments before the Supreme Court in a case addressing the constitutionality of the law prohibiting material support of terrorism. The case involves the first amendment rights of free speech, association and expression versus laws designed to aid the war on terror.
The case is Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project. The New York Times weighs in here. Georgetown law professor and civil liberties expert David Cole argued for the Humanitarian Law Project. Elena Kagen argued for the Government. Here's a scary note:
[Kagan] told Justices Kennedy, Sotomayor and John Paul Stevens that the law would forbid a listed group from retaining a lawyer to file a friend-of-court brief in a U.S. court on its own behalf, because that would amount to an outlawed “service” to the organization. And she told Stevens that, if one of the Project supporters involved in this case — California college professor Ralph Fertig — approached the United Nations as an agent of one of the listed groups, he would be covered by the law.
The Center for Constitutional Rights has all the pleadings, and says of the import of the case:
In light of the government’s current fervor to brand groups that are not toeing the line on U.S foreign policy as "terrorist" organizations, this challenge to the criminalization of what have long been understood to be constitutionally protected activities is vitally important.
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