In one of four decisions handed down today, the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in favor of the law making it a crime to knowingly provide “material support” to designated foreign terrorist organizations. The law was challenged on First Amendment grounds in Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project, and Humanitarian Law Project v. Holder (pdf) . Solicitor General Elena Kagan, now a Supreme Court nominee, defended the statute at the oral argument in February, in opposition to Georgetown University Law Center professor David Cole.
Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. wrote for the majority that the law is not unconstitutionally vague, but he offered some criticism of the government’s position in the case. Roberts wrote that the government had gone “too far” by claiming that only conduct, not speech, was involved in the litigation.
Justice Stephen Breyer read from his dissent, and was joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor. Breyer wrote that the majority “deprives the individuals before us of the protection that the First Amendment demands.”
The Court also ruled this morning in: Rent-a-Center West v. Jackson (pdf), a long-awaited arbitration case; Monsanto v. Geertson Seed Farms (pdf), on regulation of genetically engineered products; and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd. v. Regal-Beloit Corp. (pdf) on international shipping.
As it did last week, the Court has added another decision day to its calendar on Thursday of this week, in addition to next Monday, June 28.
Check back here and at nlj.com for more on today’s Supreme Court action.
This article first appeared on The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times.