Anti-Terrorist Law Struck Down
- J.A.I.L. News Journal
Los Angeles, California July 18, 2002Anti-Terrorist Law Struck Down-Washington Suffers Judicial Set-backThe Washington TimesJune 27, 2002Judge strikes law citing 'terrorist' groups
By Ben Barber
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
A U.S. law authorizing the State Department to designate groups as "terrorist" and which allows those who support them to be prosecuted has been declared unconstitutional by a federal judge, throwing U.S. anti-terrorism strategies into disarray.
A U.S. official who has been dealing with the issue said yesterday there will be "serious problems" if the decision stands on appeal. The U.S. government could no longer use the existing law to prosecute those who give "material support" to groups on the list such as Hamas, al Qaeda, Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah.
U.S. District Judge Robert M. Takasugi in Los Angeles ruled against the Justice Department in the little-noticed decision last week, declaring the 1996 law "unconstitutional on its face" since it does not allow the suspect groups to challenge the terrorist designation.
"We obviously disagree with this particular ruling," said Justice Department spokesman Bryan Sierra in Washington. "We have not yet decided if we will appeal."
While the groups may be based abroad entirely and formed by foreign citizens, the judge said the terrorist designation without a hearing makes it unconstitutional to prosecute Americans for aiding them. ....
State Department officials declined to comment on the effect of the ruling, referring calls to the Justice Department.
Mr. Sierra said: "I'm not aware of an immediate effect of the ruling or of any stay of cases or delaying cases." He said "district court rulings are not applied to other cases immediately and would not have the effect of shutting down other cases right now." ....
Executive Order 13224, issued by President Bush after September 11, freezes assets of some 200 individuals and entities in concurrence with the attorney general and the Treasury Department. ....
However, there was some concern those orders could also prove unconstitutional for the same reason Judge Takasugi found fault with the 1996 anti-terrorism law they fail to give the groups notice or to allow them the right to challenge the designation in a hearing.
"It's not entirely clear what will be the effects [of the ruling] on other designations," said the State Department official.
Ralph Martin, a former federal prosecutor and former State Department adviser, said the 1996 law "can be fixed by having some sort of notice given to the groups and a hearing." ....We are pleased to see the judicial system here work the way it is supposed to work. Actually, some ninety percent of the federal government is unconstitutional, having no prescribed support for its existence in the federal Constitution.This is but a tip of the iceberg example of what Americans can expect once federal J.A.I.L. becomes the law of this land, and this is why every citizens should be pressing the passage of J.A.I.L. in Congress.J.A.I.L. is an acronym for Judicial Accountability Initiative Law
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