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Supreme Court upholds law barring "material support" to terrorist groups

American

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You mean there was ever a question? :confused:
 

Gardener

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Guy Incognito

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Gawd, I wish the papers would stop this idiotic practice of attaching the word "humanitarian" to Jihadist groups.
Ironic, considering the name of the case in question is Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project. There is more to this case than people seem to realize, there are issues of freedom of speech and freedom of association at play, not merely there simplistic question of labeling groups "jihadist" or not.
 

jamesrage

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Ironic, considering the name of the case in question is Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project. There is more to this case than people seem to realize, there are issues of freedom of speech and freedom of association at play, not merely there simplistic question of labeling groups "jihadist" or not.
Material support is not speech. Look it up in the dictionary. The most basic definition of speech is the expression of thoughts, feelings and other things through the articulation of words.
 

Guy Incognito

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Material support is not speech. Look it up in the dictionary. The most basic definition of speech is the expression of thoughts, feelings and other things through the articulation of words.
I don't need to look it up in a dictionary, I agree with you. It is association, however, and freedom of association is protected under the first amendment. I haven't been able to find the opinion anywhere yet, so I have to reserve my judgment as to whether this case was rightly decided or not.

Anybody know where I can find the text of this opinion?
 
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donsutherland1

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Material support is not speech. Look it up in the dictionary. The most basic definition of speech is the expression of thoughts, feelings and other things through the articulation of words.
Agreed. Material support is not the same thing as protected speech.

From the law in question:

§ 2339A(b)(1)(2)(3):
(1) the term "material support or resources" means any property, tangible or intangible, or service, including currency or monetary instruments or financial securities, financial services, lodging, training, expert advice or assistance, safehouses, false documentation or identification, communications equipment, facilities, weapons, lethal substances, explosives, personnel (1 or more individuals who may be or include oneself), and transportation, except medicine or religious materials;

(2) the term "training" means instruction or teaching designed to impart a specific skill, as opposed to general knowledge; and

(3) the term "expert advice or assistance" means advice or assistance derived from scientific, technical or other specialized knowledge.


§ 2339B (a)(1):
Whoever knowingly provides material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization, or attempts or conspires to do so, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 15 years, or both, and, if the death of any person results, shall be imprisoned for any term of years or for life. To violate this paragraph, a person must have knowledge that the organization is a designated terrorist organization…

The definition of “material support or resources” is clear. Moreover, those who provide such material support or resources “must have knowledge that the organization is a designated terrorist organization.” Furthermore, the statute is quite specific with respect to defining “training” and “expert advice or assistance.” Hence, the Supreme Court found—rightly in my view—that free speech protections were not violated by the statute on account of its being overly vague, as had been asserted by Humanitarian Law Project.
 
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rathi

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Will this same ruling apply to the government? We have supported various groups currently labeled terrorists today as part of our past cold war policy. I agree that giving money is not the same thing as speech, but I wonder how consistent this ruling is going to be applied.
 

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Many thanks, don!

Gawd, I wish the papers would stop this idiotic practice of attaching the word "humanitarian" to Jihadist groups.
Ok, I am only one page into reading the case right now and I can already see that it is exceedingly incorrect to refer to the groups at issue (the Tamil Tigers and the PKK) as "jihadist." You should at least get your slurs straight, Gardener.
 

Ikari

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What counts as "material support"? If it's just running one's mouth, then the SCOTUS is absolutely wrong.
 

Guy Incognito

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What counts as "material support"? If it's just running one's mouth, then the SCOTUS is absolutely wrong.
It isn't just running one's mouth:

Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project said:
“[T]he term ‘material support or resources’ means any property, tan-
gible or intangible, or service, including currency or monetary in-
struments or financial securities, financial services, lodging, training,
expert advice or assistance, safehouses, false documentation or iden-
tification, communications equipment, facilities, weapons, lethal sub-
stances, explosives, personnel (1 or more individuals who may be or
include oneself), and transportation, except medicine or religious ma-
terials.”
 

American

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Will this same ruling apply to the government? We have supported various groups currently labeled terrorists today as part of our past cold war policy. I agree that giving money is not the same thing as speech, but I wonder how consistent this ruling is going to be applied.
I think you are questioning government authority now. Not sure it's in the same league.
 

rathi

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I think you are questioning government authority now. Not sure it's in the same league.
I was more questioning by what standard we determine something to be a terrorist organization and how long that label lasts.
 

Redress

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Agreed. Material support is not the same thing as protected speech.

From the law in question:

§ 2339A(b)(1)(2)(3):
(1) the term "material support or resources" means any property, tangible or intangible, or service, including currency or monetary instruments or financial securities, financial services, lodging, training, expert advice or assistance, safehouses, false documentation or identification, communications equipment, facilities, weapons, lethal substances, explosives, personnel (1 or more individuals who may be or include oneself), and transportation, except medicine or religious materials;

(2) the term "training" means instruction or teaching designed to impart a specific skill, as opposed to general knowledge; and

(3) the term "expert advice or assistance" means advice or assistance derived from scientific, technical or other specialized knowledge.


§ 2339B (a)(1):
Whoever knowingly provides material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization, or attempts or conspires to do so, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 15 years, or both, and, if the death of any person results, shall be imprisoned for any term of years or for life. To violate this paragraph, a person must have knowledge that the organization is a designated terrorist organization…

The definition of “material support or resources” is clear. Moreover, those who provide such material support or resources “must have knowledge that the organization is a designated terrorist organization.” Furthermore, the statute is quite specific with respect to defining “training” and “expert advice or assistance.” Hence, the Supreme Court found—rightly in my view—that free speech protections were not violated by the statute on account of its being overly vague, as had been asserted by Humanitarian Law Project.
It sounds like a perfectly reasonable law to me. I got no problem at all with this.
 

joergan

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This is good news.


FOXNews.com - Supreme Court upholds law barring "material support" to terrorist groups
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.
This is an outrage. How dare the SC take away my right to support those who wish to murder me and my family? If I want to pretend I'm a leftist idiot and support islamic fascists who would shoot my gay friends, rape my lady friends for wearing skimpy clothing, behead my artist friends for making pop music or movies, or destroy our way of lives - who is the SC to get in the way of my kids' "I love Hamas today" lemonade stand?

I mean seriously, what are we going to do on Saturday afternoons, when we'd hoped to be able to raise enough money for our friends in Gaza to buy more rocket fuel, er, I meant fertilizer for their tomato plants?

Calling CAIR, calling CAIR- hey Mr. Ibrahim Cooper, what are we going to do now? Should we sell cigarrettes like hezbollah, or is copying those infidel shiites now just too radical a suggestion?
 

joergan

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Gawd, I wish the papers would stop this idiotic practice of attaching the word "humanitarian" to Jihadist groups.
They did already, except when:

A) anything that involves israel, then the bigger the gun/bomb the terrorist has, the more of a "humanitarian" they are
B) it involves a boat, like a Gaza-bound flotilla
 

Guy Incognito

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This is an outrage. How dare the SC take away my right to support those who wish to murder me and my family? If I want to pretend I'm a leftist idiot and support islamic fascists who would shoot my gay friends, rape my lady friends for wearing skimpy clothing, behead my artist friends for making pop music or movies, or destroy our way of lives - who is the SC to get in the way of my kids' "I love Hamas today" lemonade stand?

I mean seriously, what are we going to do on Saturday afternoons, when we'd hoped to be able to raise enough money for our friends in Gaza to buy more rocket fuel, er, I meant fertilizer for their tomato plants?

Calling CAIR, calling CAIR- hey Mr. Ibrahim Cooper, what are we going to do now? Should we sell cigarrettes like hezbollah, or is copying those infidel shiites now just too radical a suggestion?
Not to get in the way of your reactionary diatribe, but this case has nothing to do with Gaza, Hezbollah, or anything of the sort. If you read the case you'll see that the plaintiffs were seeking to provide support to the nonviolent programs of two organizations, that also commit acts of terrorism. These two groups are not Islamic, they are the primarily Hindu group the Tamil Tigers and the communist Kurdish group the PPK. The case is 12 years old (read: prior to 9/11) and has nothing to do with post-9/11 anti-Islamic xenophobia. As much as you might want to politicize it, it is purely a first amendment issue, nothing to do with Palestine or Islam generally. But hey, why let facts get in the way of a good rant?
 
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joergan

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Not to get in the way of your reactionary diatribe, but this case has nothing to do with Gaza, Hezbollah, or anything of the sort. If you read the case you'll see that the plaintiffs were seeking to provide support to the nonviolent programs of two organizations, that also commit acts of terrorism. These two groups are not Islamic, they are the primarily Hindu group the Tamil Tigers and the communist Kurdish group the PPK. The case is 12 years old (read: prior to 9/11) and has nothing to do with post-9/11 anti-Islamic xenophobia. As much as you might want to politicize it, it is purely a first amendment issue, nothing to do with Palestine or Islam generally. But hey, why let facts get in the way of a good rant?
Neither the TT or PKK are terrorists, both are freedom fighters trying to liberate their homeland.
 

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You mean there was ever a question? :confused:
6-3 so 3 of the liberal judges thought it was A-ok

Thats what's so frightening about liberals in the court system.
 

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6-3 so 3 of the liberal judges thought it was A-ok

Thats what's so frightening about liberals in the court system.
Yep, which three of our esteemed judges sided with terrorists on this issue? Hmmm?

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.
Breyer, Ginsburg, and SOTOMAYOR. Nice appointment there, Obama. Thanks a ton.
 
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RightinNYC

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Not to get in the way of your reactionary diatribe, but this case has nothing to do with Gaza, Hezbollah, or anything of the sort. If you read the case you'll see that the plaintiffs were seeking to provide support to the nonviolent programs of two organizations, that also commit acts of terrorism. These two groups are not Islamic, they are the primarily Hindu group the Tamil Tigers and the communist Kurdish group the PPK. The case is 12 years old (read: prior to 9/11) and has nothing to do with post-9/11 anti-Islamic xenophobia. As much as you might want to politicize it, it is purely a first amendment issue, nothing to do with Palestine or Islam generally. But hey, why let facts get in the way of a good rant?
FWIW, the fact that this particular case dealt with those groups has no bearing on the application of the material support statute more generally. It's frequently been used to target individuals providing support for groups like Hezbollah and Hamas.
 

Guy Incognito

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FWIW, the fact that this particular case dealt with those groups has no bearing on the application of the material support statute more generally. It's frequently been used to target individuals providing support for groups like Hezbollah and Hamas.
That's fair, I can certainly see how the law would apply to such groups. But that isn't really relevant to this case any more than providing support for the IRA. I still haven't finished reading the case so I still can't say whether I think it was rightly decided, but my point is simply that this is a first amendment issue. To suggest that the justices who dissented in this case did so because they support Hezbollah and Hamas is nonsense. Rather, they support the first amendment rights to freedom of speech and association.
 
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