Here’s a civil liberties can-of-worms waiting to happen:
But federal prosecutors tackling domestic extremists still lack an important legal tool they have used extensively in dozens of prosecutions against Islamic State-inspired suspects: a law that prohibits supporting designated terrorist groups.
While foreign groups can be classified as ‘terrorist groups’ and any support given to them be considered criminal, it hasn’t applied to US groups.
So..who is to say what a domestic terrorist group is? The Klan? The Black Panthers? Greenpeace? Earth First? The JDL? The NRA?
This sort of thing will run smack into the wall of Amendment One, but by the time that makes it way to the Supreme Court there’ll be plenty of folks cooling their heels in a federal cell somewhere.
It’s a slippery slope to try and say whats a terrorist group and what isn’t. The easy definition would be any group that goes beyond theory and gets into practice. Or, put another way, when the talkers become doers. But…that ol’ bugaboo of ‘conspiracy’ comes into play. Get three guys sitting around a table who drink a few beers and talk about how they’d ‘straighten out those guys’ and -whammo- conspiracy. Nevermind that they couldn’t get past the warm-up levels in Call Of Duty.
Certainly, this sort of demonization fits into the current practice of marginalizing particular groups to make their persecution, usually through the legal system, more palatable to the rest of us.
This is definitely something to keep an eye on.