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Old June 21, 2010, 11:11 AM   #1
maestro pistolero
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Dissenting justices employ strict scrutiny for terrorist's supporters free speech

I saw this a few minutes ago and had to smile.

Apparently 'serious and deadly consequences' are not sufficient to override the 1st amendment rights of those supporting terrorist organizations, according to the dissenting Sotomayor, Breyer, and Ginsburg.

I guess we'll soon see if they feel as strongly about the 2nd amendment when deciding the level of scrutiny for law-abiding Americans exercising this right.

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2010...html?hp&emc=na

Justice Stephen Breyer took the unusual step of reading his dissent aloud in the courtroom. Breyer said he rejects the majority's conclusion ''that the Constitution permits the government to prosecute the plaintiffs criminally'' for providing instruction and advice about the terror groups' lawful political objectives. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor joined the dissent.

''Not even the 'serious and deadly problem' of international terrorism can require automatic forfeiture of First Amendment rights,'' Breyer said.

Last edited by maestro pistolero; June 21, 2010 at 11:42 AM.
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Old June 21, 2010, 11:39 AM   #2
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Your link is broken.
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Old June 21, 2010, 11:41 AM   #3
maestro pistolero
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Already, WOW. Here:
Supreme Court Upholds Law Banning Support of Terror-Linked Groups

The Supreme Court on Monday upheld a federal law that bars
"material support" to foreign terrorist organizations,
rejecting a free speech challenge from humanitarian aid
groups.

The 6-3 ruling said that the government may prohibit all
forms of aid to designated terrorist groups, even if the
support consists of training and advice about entirely
peaceful and legal activities.

Read More:
http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2010...html?hp&emc=na


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Old June 21, 2010, 11:43 AM   #4
maestro pistolero
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And the entire article:

And the entire article:
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court has upheld a federal law that bars ''material support'' to foreign terrorist organizations, rejecting a free speech challenge from humanitarian aid groups.

The court ruled 6-3 Monday that the government may prohibit all forms of aid to designated terrorist groups, even if the support consists of training and advice about entirely peaceful and legal activities.

Material support intended even for benign purposes can help a terrorist group in other ways, Chief Justice John Roberts said in his majority opinion.

''Such support frees up other resources within the organization that may be put to violent ends,'' Roberts said.

Justice Stephen Breyer took the unusual step of reading his dissent aloud in the courtroom. Breyer said he rejects the majority's conclusion ''that the Constitution permits the government to prosecute the plaintiffs criminally'' for providing instruction and advice about the terror groups' lawful political objectives. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor joined the dissent.

The law allows medicine and religious materials to go to groups on the State Department's list of terrorist organizations.

The Obama administration said the ''material support'' law is one of its most important terror-fighting tools. It has been used about 150 times since Sept. 11, resulting in 75 convictions. Most of those cases involved money and other substantial support for terror groups.

Only a handful dealt with the kind of speech involved in the case decided Monday.

The aid groups involved had trained a Kurdish group in Turkey on how to bring human rights complaints to the United Nations and assisted them in peace negotiations, but suspended the activities when the U.S. designated the Kurdish organization, known as the PKK, a terrorist group in 1997. They also wanted to give similar help to a group in Sri Lanka, but it, too, was designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. in 1997.

Nearly four dozen organizations are on the State Department list, including al-Qaida, Hamas, Hezbollah, Basque separatists in Spain and Maoist rebels in Peru.

The humanitarian groups, including the Humanitarian Law Project; Ralph Fertig, a civil rights lawyer; and Dr. Nagalingam Jeyalingam, a physician, want to offer assistance to the Kurdistan Workers' Party in Turkey or the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in Sri Lanka.

The government says the Kurdish rebel group, known as the PKK, has been involved in a violent insurgency that has claimed 22,000 lives. The Tamil Tigers waged a civil war for more than 30 years before their defeat last year.

In his dissent, Breyer recognized the importance of denying money and other resources to terror groups. ''I do not dispute the importance of this interest,'' he said. ''But I do dispute whether the interest can justify the statute's criminal prohibition.''

Breyer said the aid groups' mission is entirely peaceful and consists only of political speech, including how to petition the U.N.

''Not even the 'serious and deadly problem' of international terrorism can require automatic forfeiture of First Amendment rights,'' he said.

But Roberts pointed to a situation in which he said the U.N. was forced to close a refugee camp in northern Iraq, near the Turkish border, because it had come under PKK control.

''Training and advice on how to work with the United Nations could readily have helped the PKK in its efforts to use the United Nations camp as a base for terrorist activities,'' Roberts said.

The other justices in the majority were Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy, Antonin Scalia, John Paul Stevens and Clarence Thomas.
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Old June 21, 2010, 11:59 AM   #5
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Fire in a crowded theater? Fighting words? Not too sure which case law Justice Breyer is reading, but there have been plenty of types of speech that have been restricted under serious and deadly consequences. And then to read it aloud. I hope Scalia reads Chicago aloud.
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Old June 21, 2010, 12:12 PM   #6
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Arguments

I hate hearing arguments about our rights being dangerous and thus circumventable.

I don't like the idea of citizens supporting terrorists either, but that's the idea of rights, is that they are more important than the security taking them away could give as it prevents the rise of tyranny.

X-ref this with cases of who the lower courts can deem a terrorist and boom, freedom is over. Sure that's probably not what's being done intentionally, conspiracy theorists be damned, but it sure sets the stage for later. It doesn't take a tyrant to start, just some good intentioned idealist with a heavy hand of what's best for the little people.
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Old June 21, 2010, 01:41 PM   #7
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Before everyone goes off the deep-end here, consider only the questions that were asked of the Supreme Court.

This case is a consolidation of 2 pre-enforcement cases.

In 08-1498 (Holder, Att'y General v. Humanitarian Law Project), the question was: Whether 18 U.S.C. 2339B(a)(l), which prohibits the knowing provision of "any * * * service, * * * training, [or] expert advice or assistance," 18 U.S.C. 2339A(b)(l), to a designated foreign terrorist organization, is unconstitutionally vague.

In 09-89 (Humanitarian Law Project v. Holder, Attny General), the question was: Whether the criminal prohibitions in 18 U.S.C. § 2339B(a)(l) on provision of “expert advice or assistance" "derived from scientific [or] technical . . . knowledge" and "personnel" are unconstitutional with respect to speech that furthers only lawful, nonviolent activities of proscribed organizations.

I may have more comments, after I have read the decision.
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Old June 22, 2010, 10:32 PM   #8
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A question about the underlying principle....

And not so much on the specific of the law...

If it is allowed for the Govt to prohibit or limit private citizens and companies dealings with certain foreign nations, for the security of the state, how is that principle not applicable to dealings with certain foriegn groups?

There are many nations that are, or have been on lists preventing lawful transfer of certain technologies, materials, money, or other aid. And while we generally do allow "humanitarian aid" (food, medicine, etc.) to these nations, we could prohibit that as well under the law, right?

We routinely use embargos and threats of such to influence foreign policy against nations, how could it be different to do the same against non-nation groups?

If I'm missing something here, enlighten me, please?
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Old June 22, 2010, 11:02 PM   #9
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Oh Boy! I really don't like the reach of this decision.

If H.R.2159 and S.1317 are passed (Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act of 2009), I suspect that anyone on any terrorist or other "watch" list would be denied their RKBA. If I read the decision correctly.

While I don't think that either of these two bills will make any further headway, I shudder to think of just how far this decision might reach.

Alien and Sedition Acts, comes to mind.
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Old June 23, 2010, 02:44 AM   #10
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It seems all the government must do to deny due process is just label an individual or a group "terrorist".
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Old June 23, 2010, 08:54 PM   #11
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Quote:
It seems all the government must do to deny due process is just label an individual or a group "terrorist".
Yep, it today's boogeyman. Yesterday it was something else, and tomorrow it will be something else yet again.

The devil is always in the details, and its not what they do today that matters so much with proposed law, and court decisions, but what the language used will legally allow them to do tomorrow.

The liberal left (and a small number of the right) screamed bloody murder, figuratively, over what the Patriot act allowed the Bush administration to legally do. Now that their side rules the roost, they aren't making nearly so much noise about it.

Language in proposed law as far back as the 94 AWB era mentioned the "leaderless terrorist cell", defining it so broadly that any two or three of us getting together and discussing literally anything the people in power found threatening could be so classified. There are official public lists, and there are secret lists, and these are very dangerous things for the liberty of the people. Because is nearly always goes like this: The King is a decent man, and we trust him with all power. The King's son may be a decent man, and we are concerned over his use of the King's power. But the King's grandson is almost invariably a lout and we must endure his misuse of the King's power.

Our Founders created the best system they could with their knowledge of man's nature, and the technology of their time. We were given a republic, a representative democracy, so that we might more readily avoid the pitfalls of man's nature to act rashly in haste.

Because of the transportation technology of the era, there was always time to reflect on and deliberate the benefits of, and need for any action. This went a long way (although not always enough) to mitigate against the rash actions of the mob mentality.

ONE MONTH after 9/11 we were "at war on terror" and the Patriot act was to be one of the important weapons. Freely and easily passed (although to be fair, there were objections) because as a nation we were ******, and wanted very badly to do something to strike back. We eagerly bought the bill of goods (which I'm sure had basically been prepared well beforehand), because those we trusted told us it was needed, and for the best.

Now, today, it seems that the govt is constantly still seeking ever more power over us all, and everything we might think, do, and say.

Once they get a framework in place, (and most of it is there now), all it takes is some faceless, nameless bureaucrat to put your name on a list, and the hammer of the gods can now be dropped on you, at the govt's discretion. And a number of people are working very hard to grease up that slippery slope.
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