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NDAA Setback: Latest Court Ruling Paves Way for ‘Indefinite Detention’
Posted on Oct 3, 2012
An appeals court Tuesday extended a temporary stay of a judge’s order prohibiting the Obama administration’s controversial efforts to put any U.S. citizen the government deems a terrorism suspect behind bars indefinitely without being charged or tried. U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest had blocked the disputed statute from the National Defense Authorization Act, essentially declaring it unconstitutional.
“First Amendment rights are guaranteed by the Constitution and cannot be legislated away,” Forrest wrote in her ruling last month. “This Court rejects the Government’s suggestion that American citizens can be placed in military detention indefinitely, for acts they could not predict might subject them to detention.”
But on Tuesday, a three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed with Forrest’s ruling, writing, “We conclude that the public interest weighs in favor of granting the government’s motion for a stay.”
Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges is among the group of journalists and activists who sued the government over the provision. Hedges wrote in September after Forrest decided in favor of the plaintiffs that the ruling was “an unqualified victory for the public.”
It is worth nothing that all three of the judges from the 2nd Circuit involved in the latest NDAA ruling were appointed by President Obama.
For Truthdig’s continuing NDAA coverage, click here.
—Posted by Tracy Bloom.
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