A Collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh

Ninth Circuit OKs government ban on donations to designated terror groups

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit [official website] ruled on Thursday that the government may block Americans [PDF opinion] from giving financial support to foreign organizations designated as terrorist groups. The group in question, Mujahedin-e Khalq (also called MKO or MEK), has been classified as a terrorist group [State Dept. backgrounder] by the US State Department since 1997. The US government brought an indictment against individuals who gave money to the group; the defendants argued that MEK was not a terrorist group and that they had a First Amendment right to support them. A District Court threw out the indictment, but in June the Ninth Circuit overturned the dismissal. In reaffirming that ruling on Thursday, Judge Andrew Kleinfeld wrote, "The Constitution does not forbid Congress from requiring individuals, whether they agree with the executive branch determination or not, to refrain from furnishing material assistance to designated terrorist organizations." The court further rejected the First Amendment claim, ruling that "provid[ing] material support" is not speech. Reuters has more.

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.