Decisions handed down by the courts can significantly impact the leverage and freedom that violent individuals and groups have to exact harm on the country. Organizations with ties to terrorist groups have been very active in manipulating regulations and suing the government for any infractions they feel they have experienced. Challenges by these groups to federal government programs have resulted in multimillion dollar lawsuits against the government for illegal surveillance, and the Foundation has been instrumental in overturning some of these cases and supporting the continued detention of terrorist operatives until proper legal steps have been taken. We have also been active in making sure al Qaeda leaders who conspired in the September 11 attacks are brought to trial before military tribunals despite slight of hand by these same conspirators to avoid being tried, and ensuring that it is a crime to provide any material support to a group designated by the Attorney General as a foreign terrorist organization. The Foundation also successfully advocated against the New York Civil Liberties Union for implementation of the New York City’s subway bag inspection program designed to detect and deter terrorists attacks.

Read about these Foundation legal actions and more in our Amicus Briefs below.

Case Name:
Al Bahlul v. United States
Date Filed:
07/25/2013
Court:
U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
Foundation Action:

We argued in this case that the U.S. Government has the right to bring al Qaeda leaders such as Ali al Bahlul to trial before military tribunals for having conspired to murder American citizens during the September 11 attacks. We partnered with the Washington Legal Foundation on this action

Verdict:
Victory

Case Name:
Al-Haramain Islamic Found., Inc. v. Obama
Date Filed:
07/22/2011
Court:
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
Foundation Action:

AEF argued here that an Islamic charity with ties to al-Qaeda does not have the right to file a lawsuit against the U.S. Government for their Terrorist Surveillance Program (TSP). We partnered with the Washington Legal Foundation on this action.

Verdict:
Victory

Case Name:
American Civil Liberties Union v. Department of Justice
Date Filed:
10/15/2010
Court:
U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
Foundation Action:

In this case, the Foundation argued that a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit cannot require the CIA to disclose highly classified government information such as the use of drones to attack al Qaeda leaders abroad. We partnered with the Washington Legal Foundation on this action.

Verdict:
Victory

Case Name:
Al-Aulaqi v. Obama
Date Filed:
10/04/2010
Court:
U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
Foundation Action:

In this case, the Foundation argued that the federal government's pending decision to assassinate a senior al Qaeda leader and U.S. citizen living in Yemen was not within the jurisdiction of the court to prevent but rather was a resolution the Constitution commits to the President. We partnered with the Washington Legal Foundation on this action.

Verdict:
Victory

Case Name:
Kiyemba v. Obama
Date Filed:
02/12/2010
Court:
U.S. Supreme Court
Foundation Action:

In this case, AEF argued that nonresident aliens being detained at Guantanamo Bay are not entitled to be released into the United States. We partnered with the Washington Legal Foundation on this action.

Verdict:
Victory

Case Name:
Mohamed v. Jeppesen Dataplan, Inc.
Date Filed:
09/08/2008
Court:
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
Foundation Action:

The Foundation argued here that allowing a lawsuit against the CIA's extraordinary rendition program which transports suspected terrorists captured overseas to other countries for interrogation would create unacceptable national security risks. We partnered with the Washington Legal Foundation on this action.

Verdict:
Victory

Case Name:
Winter v. Natural Resources Defense Council
Date Filed:
08/14/2008
Court:
U.S. Supreme Court
Foundation Action:

In this case, the Foundation argued that the Navy's use of sonar on its submarines during scheduled training exercises off the coast of Southern California are necessary to national security and should not be restricted because of the presence of marine animals which historical evidence suggests have not been harmed. We partnered with the Washington Legal Foundation on this action.

Verdict:
Victory

Case Name:
United States v. Lynne Stewart
Date Filed:
10/12/2007
Court:
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
Foundation Action:

Here, we argued that New York attorney Lynne Stewart should receive a criminal conviction for providing support to an Egypt-based terrorist organization. We partnered with the Washington Legal Foundation on this action.

Verdict:
Victory

Case Name:
Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project
Date Filed:
04/13/2006
Court:
U.S. Supreme Court
Foundation Action:

Here, the Foundation argued in support of a portion of the USA Patriot Act that makes it a crime to provide material support to any group that has been designated by We partnered with the Washington Legal Foundation on this action. the Attorney General as a foreign terrorist organization.

Verdict:
Victory

Case Name:
MacWade v. Kelly
Date Filed:
10/26/2005
Court:
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
Foundation Action:

Here, the Foundation argued in support of New York City's subway bag inspection program designed to detect and deter terrorist attacks and that it did not violate constitutional rights. We partnered with the Washington Legal Foundation on this action.

Verdict:
Victory

Case Name:
Padilla v. Hanft
Date Filed:
05/17/2005
Court:
U.S. Supreme Court
Foundation Action:

In this case, the Foundation argued for the continued federal detention of Jose Padilla, the dirty bomber accused of being an al Qaeda operative. We partnered with the Washington Legal Foundation on this action.

Verdict:
Victory

Case Name:
Boumediene v. Bush
Date Filed:
04/27/2005
Court:
U.S. Supreme Court
Foundation Action:

The Foundation argued here in support of seven generals that Guantanamo Bay detainees should be barred from filing habeas corpus challenges to their detention. We partnered with the Washington Legal Foundation on this action.

Verdict:
Loss

Case Name:
Ungar v. Palestine Liberation Organization
Date Filed:
11/24/2004
Court:
U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
Foundation Action:

The Foundation argued here that the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Palestinian Authority (PA) are not immune to a lawsuit claiming that they are complicit in the deaths of Americans killed by Middle East terrorists. We partnered with the Washington Legal Foundation on this action.

Verdict:
Victory

Case Name:
National Audubon Society v. Dep't of the Navy
Date Filed:
10/27/2004
Court:
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
Foundation Action:

Here, AEF argued in support of the construction of a new North Carolina Navy airfield which is needed for pilots being trained to land planes on aircraft carriers. We partnered with the Washington Legal Foundation on this action.

Verdict:
Victory

Case Name:
Hamdan v. Rumsfeld
Date Filed:
09/03/2004
Court:
U.S. Supreme Court
Foundation Action:

In this case, AEF argued that the Government should be able to convene military commissions to conduct trials of al Qaeda leaders accused of war crimes as planned. We partnered with the Washington Legal Foundation on this action.

Verdict:
Loss

Case Name:
Rumsfeld v. Padilla
Date Filed:
08/18/2003
Court:
U.S. Supreme Court
Foundation Action:

Here, AEF argued again for the continued federal detention of Jose Padilla, the dirty bomber accused of being an al Qaeda operative. We partnered with the Washington Legal Foundation on this action.

Verdict:
Victory

Case Name:
Rasul v. Bush
Date Filed:
10/25/2002
Court:
U.S. Supreme Court
Foundation Action:

In this case, the Foundation argued that captured Taliban and al Qaeda fighters at Guantanamo Bay should continued to be detained and be limited in their ability to challenge this detainment in federal court. We partnered with the Washington Legal Foundation on this action.

Verdict:
Loss

Case Name:
Center for Biological Diversity v. England
Date Filed:
05/01/2002
Court:
U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
Foundation Action:

The Foundation argued here that military personnel should not be barred by the Migratory Bird Act from conducting live-fire training exercises on an uninhabited island in the Western Pacific simply because a few non-endangered migratory birds might be harmed during the exercises. We partnered with the Washington Legal Foundation on this action.

Verdict:
Victory