The Obama administration’s efforts to enshrine sweeping 9/11-era rollbacks of civil liberties and constitutional rights as federal law hit a serious roadblock yesterday, as a federal judge struck down clauses of the National Defense Authorization Act as unconstitutional.
The offending section of the NDAA, signed by Obama on New Year’s Eve last year, grants the government the power to put citizens in military detention indefinitely and without the usual recourse to civil courts.
Chris Hedges, along with other writers and activists including Daniel Ellsberg and Noam Chomsky, challenged the law soon after in a federal lawsuit.
They argued that the phrasing of the law, which allows for the detention of anyone who has “substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners,” is so broad that in infringes on their own first-amendment rights.
Judge Katherine Forrest, a recent Obama appointee to the federal bench, was clearly sympathetic, and granted a preliminary injunction of the offending sections of the law.
The parties were back in court for further arguments last month, but by Forrest’s close questioning of administration lawyers, it was clear she still wasn’t buying the government’s argument.
That impression was confirmed yesterday with Forrest’s 112-page ruling, which resoundingly dismisses the law as unconstitutional.
Full article: http://blogs.village … /obamas_ndaa_law.php