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Judge: AIPAC charges may be based on unconstitutional law
Haaretz ^ | 3/26/2006 | Shmuel Rosner

Posted on 03/26/2006 10:29:49 AM PST by Sabramerican

Judge: AIPAC charges may be based on unconstitutional law

WASHINGTON - A federal judge on Friday questioned the constitutionality of a law under which two former lobbyists with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee have been charged with receiving and disclosing national defense information to reporters and foreign diplomats.

U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis said at the pretrial hearing for Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman that the law, enacted in 1917, may be unconstitutionally broad and vague.

The law's defects are exacerbated because they infringe on the defendants' constitutional rights to lobby the government and because prosecutors are seeking to criminalize conduct that is integral to Washington politics - namely, leaks of classified information.

The law has rarely been used, and has never before been applied to lobbyists. Ellis said the case has moved into "new, uncharted waters," and that the defense's request for dismissal must be reviewed with strict scrutiny because of the potential impact on First Amendment rights.

(Excerpt) Read more at haaretzdaily.com ...


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Government; Israel; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: aipac; constitutionallaw; israel
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To: SJackson

Forget the media, lets suppose a scenario with ordinary citizens.

Homeland security has a tip. Agent of Homeland Security feels that if tip is true it endangers his family. He calls his wife to warn her. She knows he shouldn't have done so, he broke the law.

But she runs to tell her best friend and next door neighbor who may also be in danger. Neighbor gets the hint of the source, takes it seriously and warns her best friend.

Down the line classified information has been exchanged by people who pretty much knew they were sharing a Gov't secret.

Who broke the law? Who gets prosecuted?


21 posted on 03/26/2006 11:41:18 AM PST by Sabramerican
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To: Sabramerican
Who broke the law? Who gets prosecuted?

Simple, any internet poster who passes along classified information gets prosecuted.

22 posted on 03/26/2006 11:52:19 AM PST by SJackson ([Iraq] Reconstruction isnít news is it? Chris Matthews)
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To: Sabramerican

Looks like anti-Semitism runs deep, even here.


23 posted on 03/26/2006 12:10:47 PM PST by thoughtomator (Pacifism is objectively pro-terrorist)
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To: Sabramerican

I'm totally underwhelmed. First the freedom of Lobbyists is protected but the Internet is going to be restricted via McCain-Feingold?

And somehow the Republicans let this happen? I'm even more underwhelmed.


24 posted on 03/26/2006 1:21:23 PM PST by GladesGuru (In a society predicated upon Liberty, it is essential to examine principle)
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