US Supreme Court upholds Obama anti-terror law

The US Supreme Court upheld on June 21 the government's authority to ban aid from being supplied to designated terrorist groups.

Many argue such aid is a necessity to persuading some groups toward peaceful and legal activities. A number of human rights organizations claim the ban hinders their ability to persuade people to abandon radicalism, since the ban prohibits the organizations to offer speeches and political training. The justices voted 6-3 to reject a free-speech challenge from humanitarian aid groups.

This law, for the first time in the history of the United States, makes a crime out of pure speech that is aimed at peaceful non-violent lawful conduct,” said professor and human rights activist Ralph Fertig.

Fertig said that restricting the speech of individuals based on political classifications enacted by the State Department is wrong, it violates one’s right to free speech.

Jimmy Carter would have been arrested under this law for negotiating and monitoring elections in Syria because he had to talk to organizations that had been labeled terrorists,” said Fertig.

Fertig argued that a ban on passing material goods is one thing, but a ban on giving speeches and providing verbal training violates his right to speech and impedes the humanitarian process.

My speech is not tradable for anything that could be used for violence,” said Fertig.