The Ninth Circuit reinstated indictments against seven defendants accused of financing a terrorist group. The ruling also reversed a district court ruling that invalidated the 1996 terrorism-financing law under which the US government had issued the indictments. The bush Administration has used the law as a tool to prosecute people who have allegedly bankrolled terrorist organizations by contributions to “charity” organizations. This ruling matches the outcome of a similar case before the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. Details are here.
The ruling is especially notable because the Ninth Circuit is generally considered the most liberal (and volatile) of the 12 regional circuit courts — it sits primarily in San Francisco and presides over appeals from US district courts in the far west and some mountain states; the Fourth Circuit is considered one of the two most conservative federal appeals courts and presides over appeals from district courts in the Carolinas, the Virginias and Maryland.