Federal judge stops feds’ indefinite detention law
NEW YORK, NEW YORK, July 6, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – A controversial law that would allow the president to indefinitely detain Americans without trial hit a roadblock after a federal judge blocked the federal government from making any arrests under its purview.
U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest of New York City temporarily halted any arrests or detentions that would take place under the terms of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which took effect on July 1.
In a 68-page opinion, Judge Forrest wrote, while she only enjoined the law “with great caution,” the government had “a strong public interest in ensuring that due process rights guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment are protected by ensuring that ordinary citizens are able to understand the scope of conduct that could subject them to indefinite military detention.”
“It is the responsibility of our judicial system to protect the public from acts of Congress that infringe upon constitutional rights,” Judge Forrest wrote.
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The NDAA, which President Barack Obama signed last December 31, allows the president to hold enemy combatants in military detention facilities without trial until the end of hostilities, if the person “substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners.”
Critics of the law note that the president alone determines who fits this criteria, without any judicial or congressional input. The law merely requires the Secretary of Defense to “regularly brief” Congress about “covered persons.”
Meanwhile, the federal government continues to give signs that it considers pro-life organizations and believers in limited government public enemy number one.
A federally funded study conducted on behalf of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) this January claimed that “single issue groups” such as “anti-abortion” organizations had committed more terrorist acts over a longer period of time than any group, including Islamic fundamentalists. The report also warns officials to beware of anyone who is “suspicious of centralized federal authority” or
“reverent of individual liberty.”
DHS and FBI agents have also been briefed by Planned Parenthood to monitor right to life activists to prevent alleged pro-life terrorism.
Virginia Delegate Bob Marshall, R-Manassas, filed an amicus curiae brief in the anti-NDAA lawsuit. He previously authored a law forbidding Virginia the state Nation Guard and Volunteer Defense Force from making arrests pursuant to NDAA.
New York Times reporter Chris Hedges testified that, because he associated with terrorists while reporting on them, he could be indefinitely detained.
Forrest, who was appointed by Barack Obama, issued her ruling on May 16.
Others who joined Marshall in opposing the law before Judge Forrest include Virginia State Sen. Dick Black, the Tenth Amendment Center, Gun Owners of America, Pastor Chuck Baldwin, U.S. Border Control, the Constitution Party National Committee, and many others.