Res Publica - Journal of Undergraduate Research


Lynne Stewart was counsel for Sheikh Abdel Rahman during his 1995 trial when he was convicted of “seditious conspiracy to wage a war of urban terrorism against the United States” and of “soliciting crimes of violence against the United States military and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak” (Stewart 4). Rahman was considered to be a leader of the Islamic Group (IG), which was designated as a foreign terrorist organization by the State

Department in 1997. Stewart continued to act as Rahman’s counsel after his trial. In 1998, Special Administrative Measures (SAMs) were imposed on Rahman to halt his communication with IG. The SAMs included restrictions on Rahman’s access to mail, the telephone, and visitors, and prohibited him from speaking with the media. Stewart was asked to abide by and sign these SAMs, which she did in May 1998. In doing so, she agreed “not to use ‘meetings, correspondence, or phone calls with Abdel Rahman to pass messages between

third parties (including, but not limited to, the media) and Abdel Rahman’” (Stewart 5). In April 2002, Ahmed Abdel Sattar,Yassir Al-Sirri,Mohammed Yousry and Lynne Stewart were charged with a five-count indictment. Stewart was charged on Counts One (“conspiring to provide material support and resources to a foreign terrorist organization (FTO)”), Two (“providing and attempting to provide material support and resources to an FTO”), Four (“conspiring to defraud the United States”) and Five (Stewart alone was charged with “making false statements”). These charges held that the defendants had violated the SAMs as well as the 1996 Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA) which made it illegal to provide, or attempt to provide,“material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization” (AEDPA).

Professor Simeone’s assignment for his Constitutional Law II class was as follows: “Write a 650-800 word essay on the following topic: Lynne Stewart stands convicted in U.S. District Court of violating the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA) by providing ‘material support’ to the Islamic Group, a State Department designated terrorist organization.You are an associate justice on the U.S. Supreme Court and have been given the task of writing the opinion of the court by the chief justice.”