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“Anti-Terror” Law Upheld

The SCOTUS has upheld a law that limits aid, even non-violent to “terrorist” organisations. It was challenged on “free speech” grounds in that it limits donations to political organizations (they may be “terrorist”, but they are by definition also political). Thus like the recent Citizens United case, it hinges on the equation of “money = speech”.

Personally of the cuff I can’t say I’m not overly concerned – the organizations involved here are not likely the kind I’d want to donate to regardless. However I will say it does concern me that the designation of “terrorist organization” is defined not by Congress, but by the State Department. Thus in a “Executive gone bad” situation, one method to clamp down on opposition would be to simply name any group of question “terrorist”.

Moving on, the AP headline reads:

High court upholds anti-terror law prized by Obama

Which for a so-called “liberal” administration seems kind of ironic – one of their “prized laws” can best be considered, even if it may be the right thing to do, a “civil liberties limiting” law. Yet another example to put truth to the lie that this administration is anything remotely approaching “liberal”.

Finally I will note Justice Roberts had this little gem of a quote:

“Such support frees up other resources within the organization that may be put to violent ends”

Which I hope he’ll remember if “Faith-Based Initiatives” ever make it to the Supreme Court – this has been the issue that many of us has against “Faith-Based Initiatives” based on “separation of church and state” arguments. The point is – funding these initiatives “frees up other resources within the organization that may be put to” other church activities. Thus government support of “Faith-Based Initiatives” is actually “back door” to funding of religion.

Finally, as another example of “liberal” Obama (or rather, the fallacy of), you will note, Obama has not rescinded the use of such initiatives.


While I noted I’m not “overly concerned”, don’t take that as endorsement of the law or its SCOTUS interpretation. All I’m saying is that it has so little immediate application to anything I care about that compared to the slew of other concerns today, it doesn’t sufficiently raise my hackles to feel clearly one way or another. That doesn’t mean I agree (nor disagree – though I am always dubious of anything that comes out of this court).


Wretched Gnu in the comment section of Glenn Greenwald‘s blog points out this little gem from the dissent:

“The dissent argues that there is ‘no natural stopping place’ for the proposition that aiding a foreign terrorist organization’s lawful activity promotes the terrorist organization as a whole.”

That is scary. One implication, as Wretched Gnu points out, is criticizing Israel might be seen as “aiding” Hamas. It will be interesting (in the sort of Chinese proverb way unfortunately) to see how this progresses.

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