Ninth Circuit denies challenge to ban on providing services to terrorist organizations

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on Monday ruled against [opinion, PDF] a Humanitarian Law Project (HLP) [advocacy website] challenge to former President George W. Bush's Executive Order 13224 [Treasury materials], which prohibits unlicensed US groups and individuals from providing services to certain terrorist organizations designated by the government. The HLP wanted to aid the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE) [CFR backgrounders], but feared being designated a terrorist organization itself. The HLP then challenged the Executive Order and its supporting regulations, the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) and the United Nations Participation Act (UNPA) [texts, PDF] on First and Fifth Amendment [text] grounds. The Ninth Circuit affirmed the lower court's holding that the HLP lacked standing despite its self-censorship, as well as its ruling that the Order's ban on "services" to terrorist organizations was not unconstitutionally vague. Judge Pregerson dissented in part, commenting,

no case holds that the standing analysis used in the First Amendment context requires that the challenged statute must on its face implicate First Amendment rights....The government [asserts] that the term “services” does not reach independent advocacy. I doubt whether such expressed intentions and representations...could assuage the reasonable fears of entities who stand to have all their assets frozen.
In June, an American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) report [text, PDF; JURIST report] stated that US anti-terrorism laws target Muslims and "impose guilt by association...in violation both of their First and Fifth Amendment rights and international law." The report asserted that the rights violations began after the release of Executive Order 13224. Last November, the US District Court for the District of Oregon ruled [JURIST report] that the US Treasury Department's freezing of the assets of the now-defunct Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation [JURIST news archive] under color of Executive Order 13224 violated the organization's due processes rights because it failed to provide any basis for designating it a "Specially Designated Global Terrorist" organization.

 

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