Monday, June 21, 2010

Supreme Court upholds ban on aiding terrorist groups, even for non-violent projects of those groups

The Supreme Court has upheld a federal law (part of the Patriot Act) prohibiting the provision of “material support” to terrorist organizations, even if only to support non-violent ends of those groups. The New York Times (June 21) story by Adan Liptak (“Supreme Court affirms ban on aiding groups tied to terror”) has link here.  The case is “Holder vs. Humanitarian Law Project” with opinion link here.

The case involved a law project that wanted to help the Kurdish Worker’s Party, the PKK, achieve its ends through non-violent means. The groups named in the Secretary of State’s list maintained under the law include groups under the law, including Hamas, Hezbollah, the Khmer Rouge and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party.

The opinion, however, is far afield from any concerns that ordinary Internet speech assists terrorist-sponsoring groups. It would be interesting to speculate about the legal aspects of someone's posting on a "jihadist" website, for example.

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