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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  • Display: Sort:
    with ms. kagen's argument, (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by cpinva on Tue Feb 23, 2010 at 04:21:26 PM EST
    we move inexorably closer to becoming our enemies.

    i wonder sometimes if these people actually listen to what they say, or do they just grit their teeth, and spout the party line?

    And Obama hammers another BushCo nail in making (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by jawbone on Tue Feb 23, 2010 at 04:40:29 PM EST
    the coffin for his presidency.

    I realize three years is a long, long time in politics, but it does seem Obama is working hard to become a one term president.


    Rabbit Hole (none / 0) (#1)
    by ricosuave on Tue Feb 23, 2010 at 01:47:24 PM EST
    So our government is effectively arguing that anyone who tries to challenge their designation of a group as "terrorist" is illegally and criminally aiding the terrorists?  This is power we want to give to a president like Bush, or that conservatives want to give to Obama?  

    Wondering how "Citizens United" (none / 0) (#2)
    by oculus on Tue Feb 23, 2010 at 02:44:18 PM EST
    majority opinion would permit this money-spending-in support-of ideas to be criminalized?