Federal Appeals Court rules that US Citizens can be held in indefinite detention
Federal court rules in favor of indefinite detention of US citizens
Thu Oct 4, 2012 12:0AM GMT
A federal appeals court has ruled that the U.S. government can still indefinitely detain citizens should it wish to do so, under the Obama Administration’s National Defense Authorization Act.
The ruling came in the form of an extension of an “emergency” stay of a district court judge’s order that had previously struck down the defense bill’s provisions altogether.
Last month District Judge Katherine Forrest permanently blocked the NDAA provision, saying that “First Amendment rights have already been harmed and will be harmed by the prospect of (the law) being enforced.”
However, the very next day the Obama administration moved to appeal the decision in an attempt to reinstate the indefinite detention provisions. The administration characterized the ruling by Forrest as unconstitutional.
Federal judge in New York, Raymond Lohier, then granted the Obama administration an “emergency” stay that temporarily blocks Forrest’s ruling.
Late on Tuesday, a three-judge motions panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit extended that stay, supporting the administration’s appeal and intimating that Forrest’s ruling is flawed.
“We conclude that the public interest weighs in favor of granting the government’s motion for a stay,” Appeals Court Judges Denny Chin, Raymond Lohier and Christopher Droney wrote in a three-page order that also expedited the appeal.
All three judges on the panel were appointed to the appeals court by Obama. Prison Planet
FACTS & FIGURES
The appeals court ruled that, since the government has promised that citizens, journalists, and activists are not in danger of being detained as a result of this law, it is unnecessary to block its enforcement. antiwar.com
Both parties in the case have been directed by the court to file reply briefs in the next few months, through to December, after which a new calendar date will be scheduled to argue the case again. So, at least for the next few months, the NDAA’s detention provisions are in effect. antiwar.com
On December 31, 2011, President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), codifying indefinite military detention without charge or trial into law for the first time in American history. The NDAA’s dangerous detention provisions would authorize the president — and all future presidents — to order the military to pick up and indefinitely imprison people captured anywhere in the world, far from any battlefield. ACLU
Section 1021 [of the NDAA] – was challenged in court shortly thereafter by a team of plaintiffs led by former New York Times journalist Chris Hedges. RT
The Obama administration insists that the indefinite detention provisions of the legislation are necessary for the safety and security of the nation, a claim that Hedges and his colleagues have condemned whole-heartedly in the ten months since the NDAA went on the books. Journalists and human rights activists insist that Section 1021 actually allows the government to label any American citizen as a suspected terrorist and then treat them accordingly. RT
In May, Judge Forrest ruled Section 1021 of the NDAA failed to “pass constitutional muster” and ordered a temporary injunction. RT
In its original form, the NDAA allows the military hold anyone accused of having “substantially supported” al-Qaeda, the Taliban or “associated forces” until “the end of hostilities” and indefinitely imprison anyone who commits a “belligerent act” against the United States, yet fails to explicitly define what is constituted as such. In her injunction, Judge Forrest said, “In the face of what could be indeterminate military detention, due process requires more.” RT
“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,” Judge Forrest ruled. RT