Thursday, February 25, 2010

Before Justices, First Amendment and Aid to Terrorists


I believe I warned you here that this was gonna be a can of worms for the SCOTUS.

WASHINGTON — The line between speech protected by the First Amendment and aid to terrorists appeared elusive at the Supreme Court on Tuesday, and the justices’ lively questioning complicated rather than clarified matters. They discussed travel to Cuba, the Communist and Nazi Parties, Tokyo Rose, treason and whether it is a crime to teach a terrorist how to play the harmonica.

Solicitor General Elena Kagan defended the law at issue in the case, which bars providing material support to terrorist organizations, as “a vital weapon in this nation’s continuing struggle against international terrorism.”

[snkp]

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said at least one part of the law, banning expert advice, seemed vague to him. “I don’t know sitting down that I could tell,” he said, whether advice about peaceful advocacy was covered.

[snip]

But Justice Sonia Sotomayor suggested that the law might sweep too broadly by making, say, harmonica instruction a crime because it involves specialized training.


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