National Defense Authorization Act struck down then appealed by Obama admin

Judge Katherine Forrest, a New York federal judge, struck down a provision in the National Defense Authorization Act that allows Americans to be indefinitely detained just for being accused of supporting terrorist groups. The ruling was in response to a lawsuit brought by journalists and scholars who were concerned that the NDAA would allow them to be indefinitely detained for speaking their minds. Judge Forrest’s ruling reaffirms a ruling she issued back in May against the indefinite detention provision.

The National Defense Authorization Act has been quite controversial because it includes provisions that permit the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens. While the Obama administration and supporters of the NDAA had denied that the provisions found within the Act pertain to American citizens, analysts noted that there was no language in sections 1021 or 1022 of the Act — wherein the indefinite detention provision can be found — that exempted U.S. citizens.

Several lawmakers made efforts to combat the indefinite detention provisions.

Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.), for example, wrote an amendment that would have required any suspected terrorists caught in the United States or its territories to be tried in civilian courts. He was joined by Congressmen Ron Paul of Texas, Justin Amash of Michigan, and John Garamendi of California.

The complaint of the lawmakers and other opponents was not simply that it violates the constitutional right to a trial but also that it doesn’t work.

“In the last 10 years, we have successfully prosecuted — tried and convicted — over 400 terrorists,” Smith said. “Even as we sit here today, there are over 300 terrorists in U.S. prisons.”

Smith’s amendment failed. ( Read Rest Here )

Within 24 hours of a historic court ruling that struck down the indefinite detention provision of the National Defense Authorization Act, the Obama administration has appealed the ruling, emphasizing once again how the White House – while claiming to be against the measure – has aggressively pushed for it at every turn.

The suit was brought by activists and journalists, including former New York Times columnist Chris Hedges, who argued that the law was unconstitutional because it could see journalists abducted and detained merely for speaking their minds.

In “permanently” halting the enforcement of the law, Forrest noted how the plaintiffs presented “evidence that First Amendment rights have already been harmed and will be harmed by the prospect of (the law) being enforced. The public has a strong and undoubted interest in the clear preservation of First and Fifth Amendment rights.”

However, the very next day the Obama administration reportedly moved to appeal the decision in an attempt to reinstate the indefinite detention provisions.

Read more here

One Response to “National Defense Authorization Act struck down then appealed by Obama admin”

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