In this morning's National Review online, I have an article with Howard Anglin, Esq. on a recent judicial decision out of California authored by Judge Audrey Collins that seriously hampers the government's efforts to restrict terrorist financing. Read the article.
To be fair to Judge Collins, her opinion is nothing like the hatchet job performed by Judge Anna Diggs Taylor on the NSA’s terrorist-surveillance program earlier this year. Judge Taylor’s opinion was roundly — and rightly — condemned as poorly reasoned and unworthy of the legal craft by lawyers from across the political spectrum. Judge Collins’s decision, by contrast, is neither overtly partisan nor irrational. With one exception it is a workmanlike application of precedent to fact. Unfortunately, that one exception has catastrophic potential.
There is, however, a compelling basis for a government ban on any assistance — even self-described humanitarian aid — to terrorists. Because terrorist organizations are not known as models of corporate transparency, there is no way of knowing whether a terrorist entity’s humanitarian arm is funneling money to its militant one. What is more, the fungible nature of money means that donations to the peaceful arm free up money to be spent by the militant arm.