Amicus Brief

MARCH 2, 2009

A number of non-profit groups, including the Grantmakers Without Borders, OMB Watch, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Foundation, Bill of Rights Defense Committee, and several others, have submitted an amicus brief on behalf of a Bernabei & Wachtel client, which is a another nonprofit group that is challenging proposed actions by the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control. This amicus brief argues that the government's proposed actions have improperly "created a climate of fear and intimidation among nonprofit organizations, discouraging them from doing their critical humanitarian work, particularly in conflict-torn regions that are most in need," and that the government's actions are counterproductive since nonprofit organizations are among those most likely to improve living conditions in conflict regions, thereby effectively countering terrorism recruitment efforts. The Chronicle of Philanthropy has written about the amicus brief and this case.

JURIST, a widely-read non-commercial legal news service published by the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, also reported on the filing of the amicus brief by several nonprofit organizations, in an article titled " Rights groups and non-profit advocates oppose terrorist designation of charities without due process". JURIST described the amicus brief as arguing "that the designation of charitable groups as terrorist organizations without due process violates the groups' constitutional rights and discourage and undermine their humanitarian aid efforts."