Obama’s emergency stay on NDAA block extended
Oct 3, 2012
Oct 3, 2012
A federal appeals court has ruled that the US 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 defence 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 yesterday, 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 athree-page order that also expedited the appeal.
All three judges on the panel were appointed to the appeals court by Obama.
The order continues:
First, in its memorandum of law in support of its motion, the government clarifies unequivocally that, ‘based on their stated activities,’ plaintiffs, ‘journalists and activists[,] . . . are in no danger whatsoever of ever being captured and detained by the U.S. military.’Second, on its face, the statute does not affect the existing rights of United States citizens or other individuals arrested in the United States. See NDAA § 1021(e) (‘Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect existing law or authorities relating to the detention of United States citizens, lawful resident aliens of the United States, or any other persons who are captured or arrested in the United States.’).Third, the language of the district court’s injunction appears to go beyond NDAA § 1021 itself and to limit the government’s authority under the Authorization for Use of Military Force…
Concerned Americans have argued that the NDAA provision could see American citizens kidnapped and held indefinitely without charge.