Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Supremes Hear Oral Argument in Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project

The Supreme Court today heard oral argument in Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project.  The questions presented by the case, which might well have consequences on the interpretation of similar provisions in the immigration laws, is (1) whether 18 U.S.C. 2339B(a)(1), which prohibits the knowing provision of “any *** service, *** training, [or] expert advice or assistance,” to a designated foreign terrorist organization, is unconstitutionally vague; and (2) whether the criminal prohibitions in 18 U.S.C. § 2339B(a)(1) on the provision of “expert advice or assistance” “derived from scientific [or] technical … knowledge” and “personnel” are unconstitutional with respect to speech that furthers only lawful, nonviolent activities of proscribed organizations. 

For opposing arguments from Peter Margulies (Roger Williams) (for Petitioners) and David Cole (Georgetown) (for respondents) on podcast on SCOTUSblog, click here. See Lyle Denniston's analysis of the oral argument and recounting of the Court's apparent skepticism about the breadth of the statute.


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