Posted by on January 11, 2011 in Blog

Laura Muphy, Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office appeared on the latest episode of Viewpoint with James Zogby to discuss a wide-range of civil rights issues. Ms. Murphy mainly discussed the issues surrounding the Supreme Court case Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project in which a number of American organizations were found guilty of "providing material support or resources" to foreign terrorist organizations. Ms. Murphy called the court ruling “very troublesome” and explained that the implications of this law -- in many circumstances --  negatively effects 1st amendment rights. “Beliefs that are different from the government and free of government censorship is embodied in the first amendment”, said Murphy. Ms. Murphy’s comments address a fundamental element of the law which stipulates that any support of a terrorist organization including any beliefs the U.S. government deems consistent with any designated terrorist group, are viewed as proving material support for a terrorist group. In this case, Murphy said “the [legal] burden then is shifted to the people who are giving to what they believe is a legitimate charity and have every reason to believe it's a legitimate charity.”

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