Obama Keeps Fighting in Court to Jail Americans Indefinitely without Trial
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
President Barack Obama
In its legal fight to indefinitely jail Americans suspected of terrorist ties, the Obama administration has refused to give any ground in federal court, even dodging a judge’s questions about whether it has abided by a temporary order to not enforce the controversial law.
At the focus of the court battle is the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2012, which gave the government the power to arrest and detain without end anyone suspected of supporting terrorist organizations, including Americans in the U.S.
Civil libertarians challenged the law in federal court, and in May, Judge Katherine Forrest ordered a temporary injunction because, she said, the NDAA failed to “pass constitutional muster.”
Federal attorneys last week appealed the injunction in an effort to allow the government to use the NDAA in its fight against suspected terrorists. But during questioning by Forrest who asked if the administration had adhered to the injunction, lawyers from the U.S. Department of Justice refused to directly answer the question.
If it turns out the government has arrested anyone on NDAA grounds, the administration could be held in contempt of court.
The NDAA permits the military to hold any individual accused of having “substantially supported” al Qaeda, the Taliban, or “associated forces” until “the end of hostilities.” The law also allows the indefinite imprisonment of those who commit a “belligerent act” against the U.S.
In her ruling, Forrest noted: “An individual could run the risk of substantially supporting or directly supporting an associated force without even being aware that he or she was doing so.”
To Learn More:
What Makes Our NDAA Lawsuit a Struggle To Save the US Constitution (by Tangerine Bolen, The Guardian)
Federal Judge Casts Wary Eye Upon Indefinite Military Detention (by Adam Klasfeld, Courthouse News Service)
Federal Judge Blocks Obama’s Right to Impose Indefinite Detention without Trial (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov)
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