NEW YORK (Sept. 18, 2012) – A federal appeals judge restored the government’s alleged power to kidnap people on American soil and detain them until the end of an endless war.
Last week, U.S. District Court Judge Katherine Forrest granted a permanent injunction on enforcement of section 1021(b)(2), which allowed the federal government to indefinitely detain virtually anybody for any reason without due process. The judge found language in section 1021 overbroad and that it would allow for detention of those engaging in constitutionally protected free speech. She also said detention provisions deny prospective detainees basic due process rights.
The Obama administration appealed almost immediately and asked Forrest for an immediate stay. She refused. On Monday, government lawyers asked the Second U.S. Court of Appeals in Manhattan to issue an emergency stay, reinstating the power to indefinitely detain people on U.S. soil.
“The Justice Department sent a letter to Forrest and the Second Circuit late Friday night informing them that at 9 a.m. Monday the Obama administration would ask the Second Circuit for an emergency stay that would lift Forrest’s injunction,” lead plaintiff Christopher Hedges wrote. “This would allow Obama to continue to operate with indefinite detention authority until a formal appeal was heard.
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit Judge Raymond Lohier granted the stay Monday evening. It will remain in place until the appellate court rules on the case. The court is expected to take up the issue beginning on Sept. 28.
Ironically, President Obama expressed concern about the scope of the indefinite detention provisions when he signed the NDAA into law.
“The fact that I support this bill as a whole does not mean I agree with everything in it,” Obama wrote in a signing statement. “In particular, I have signed this bill despite having serious reservations with certain provisions that regulate the detention, interrogation, and prosecution of suspected terrorists.”
Now, his administration continues to fight tooth-and-nail to hold onto those very detention powers.
“You have to wonder why he is fighting so hard to maintain a power he claimed he would never use. Makes you doubt his sincerity, doesn’t it?” Tenth Amendment Center national communications director Mike Maharrey said. “This just goes to show that when the federal government gets its grubby paws around any given power, it will never relinquish its grip. That’s why we continue to insist that states need to take steps to block any actions that would deny their citizens basic rights of due process .”
Urge your state representative to sponsor liberty preservation legislation to block NDAA detention in your state.
For model legislation, click HERE.
To track state and local efforts against NDAA detention, click HERE.