On Aug. 3, 2010, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) filed a lawsuit challenging the regulatory scheme requiring attorneys to obtain permission from the Office of Asset Control (OFAC) to represent their clients. The plaintiffs seek to represent pro bono the father of a US citizen targeted for killing by the U.S. government.
The lawsuit exposes the unduly burdensome and potentially unconstitutional licensing process imposed upon attorneys seeking to represent individuals and organizations ensnared in the terrorist designation process. Of equal significance is the underlying basis of this lawsuit – is it constitutional for the executive branch to unilaterally target for killing a U.S. citizen without due process of law?
The SDGT regulations are arbitrary and capricious insofar as they prohibits attorneys from providing uncompensated legal services without first obtaining a license from OFAC;
The SDGT regulations violate the First and Fifth Amendments insofar as they prevent SDGTs who are US persons from obtaining legal representation of their interests in U.S. Courts;
The SDGT regulations violate the First Amendment insofar as they impose a licensing requirement on non-profit civil liberties organizations seeking to represent clients in litigation;
The SDGT regulations violate the First Amendment insofar as they invest executive officers with unfettered discretion to suppress activity protected by the First Amendment and fail to provide constitutionally required safeguards;
The SDGT regulations violate Article III of the U.S. Constitution and the separation of powers insofar as they invest executive officers with unfettered discretion to determine whether designated U.S. citizens can have access to federal courts in order bring particular litigation.