Palestine Information Office v. Shultz (amicus) Historic Case

At a Glance

Date Filed: 


Case Description 

Palestine Information Office v. Shultz is a case in which the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) filed an amicus brief, opposing the closure of the Palestine Information Office in Washington, D.C.

Acting under the purported authority of the Foreign Missions Act, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia granted the government’s request to close the Palestine Information Office (PIO) in Washington, accepting the government’s argument that the PIO, although operated by U.S. citizens, is controlled by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), an alleged terrorist organization.

On appeal to the Court of Appeals, CCR participated in the preparation of an amicus curiae brief filed on behalf of 30 Jewish, Arab, and general membership organizations, as well as a number of individuals. The brief protested the closing as factually and legally insupportable, contrary to the First Amendment, and obstructive of the search for peace in the Middle East. CCR’s section of the brief focused on international law violations, including article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which seeks, among other thing, to guarantee the right to “receive and impart information and ideas… regardless of frontiers.”

The Court of Appeals affirmed the district court’s decision.