US Judge Strikes Down NDAA's 'Indefinite Detention'


U.S. District Court Judge Katherine Forrest made permanent an injunction against enforcement of Section 1021 of the National Defense Authorization Act, which was declared unconstitutional. Section 1021 is a provision that allows the federal government to have the military detain and hold indefinitely any person, including U.S. citizens, on simply claiming that they are suspected of terrorism or involved with terrorists and requires absolutely no evidence be provided against them. No due process is given to the detainee. consequently Section 1022 is tied to 1021 in that it requires military custody, not local authorities.

Judge Forrest said the section was a “chilling impact on First Amendment rights.”

The NDAA’s indefinite detention policy was signed into law by Barack Obama on January 1 of this year, supported by members of the Democrat, as well as, the Republican Parties and was supported by the Republican candidate for President Mitt Romney during the primary debates.

The Obama administration took only a few hours to file an appeal of the judge’s ruling and attorneys even asked her to halt enforcement of her order.

In Forrest’s order she wrote,

“The government put forth the qualified position that plaintiffs’ particular activities, as described at the hearing, if described accurately, if they were independent, and without more, would not subject plaintiffs to military detention under Section 1021.”

“The government did not – and does not – generally agree or anywhere argue that activities protected by the First Amendment could not subject an individual to indefinite military detention under Section 1021,” she continued.

Interestingly enough, the same media that provided cover for Obama during his rise to the Oval Office are the same ones who brought this case to trial. The journalists “contend the controversial section allows for detention of citizens and residents taken into custody in the U.S. on “suspicion of providing substantial support” to anyone engaged in hostilities against the U.S. The lawsuit alleges the law is vague and could be read to authorize the arrest and detention of people whose speech or associations are protected by the First Amendment. They wonder whether interviewing a member of AL-Qaeda would be considered ‘substantial support.’”

Bloomberg reports,

The U.S. asked a judge to delay implementation of an order permanently blocking enforcement of a law that opponents claim may subject them to indefinite military detention for speech protected by the Constitution.

The Justice Department today asked U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest for a stay of the Sept. 12 decision, in a case challenging a provision of the National Defense Authorization Act for 2012. In the ruling, Forrest extended a preliminary injunction against the law that she had entered in May.

Forrest ruled that the law violates rights guaranteed by the First, Fifth and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

Forrest, in her order, writes “The court repeatedly asked the government whether those particular past activities could subject plaintiffs to indefinite military detention; the government refused to answer.”

“The Constitution places affirmative limits on the power of the executive to act, and these limits apply in times of peace as well as times of war,” she continued.

She wrote that the law “impermissibly impinges on guaranteed First Amendment rights and lacks sufficient definitional structure and protection to meet the requirements of due process.”

“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, and have as their sole remedy a habeas petition adjudicated by a single decision-maker (a judge versus a jury), by a ‘preponderance of the evidence’ standard,” wrote Forrest

“That scenario dispenses with a number of guaranteed rights,” she wrote.

While this is a huge blow to the federal government, remember that they are using our own tax dollars against us to fight for this unconstitutional and immoral law that can detain citizens for whatever the government deems that they want to detain them for. They can do so indefinitely, without charge, trial, jury or anything close to due process, which they have sworn to do in their oath of office.

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