Posted: December 22, 2003
On December 3, 2003, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals handed down a ruling narrowly construing one element of the 1996 Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act. Under that Act, anyone who knowingly provides certain types of “material support” – weapons, money, safehouses -- to a group designated by the Secretary of State as a “foreign terrorist organization” can be charged with a federal crime.
ADL supported the enactment of this provision in 1996 – and filed an amicus brief supporting its constitutionality
( .pdf format – 97 kb. requires Adobe Reader )
when this case first came before the Ninth Circuit in 2000. In that case, the court preliminarily upheld the most crucial material support provisions – including a broad ban on fundraising -- from First Amendment challenge, but struck down other elements important to effective prosecutions. The court affirmed that opinion in early December.
The United States is expected to appeal -- and ADL will again file an amicus brief in support of these essential counterterrorism tools.