Judge blocks NDAA U.S. citizens detention law!

Remember that odious piece of legislation shit with the innocuous name, National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 (NDAA), which both parties in both houses of Congress passed and which that other piece of shit named Barack Obama signed into law on the last day of 2011?

Yes, it’s that anti-Constitutional piece of shit law that authorizes the President and military of the United States of America to arrest and indefinitely detain imprison U.S. citizens without cause or trial.

We gnashed our teeth and raised a hue and cry. Congressman Ron Paul, among some other representatives and senators in D.C., said they oppose the piece of shit NDAA, but no effort was made to repeal it.

Thank our Founding Fathers for devising a political system of federalism and separation of powers!

First, the state of Virginia said “No” to NDAA. Other state and local governments also began to fight NDAA,

Now the courts have entered the fray.

On Tuesday, May 15, 2012, a federal judge — an Obama appointee! — in New York, 48-yar-old U.S. District Judge Katherine B. Forrest in Manhattan, ruled to (temporarily) block the measure.

U.S. District Judge Katherine B. Forrest

Bob Van Voris and Patricia Hurtado report for Bloomberg, May 16, 2012:

Opponents of a U.S. law they claim may subject them to indefinite military detention for activities including news reporting and political activism persuaded a federal judge to temporarily block the measure.

U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest in Manhattan yesterday ruled in favor of a group of writers and activists who sued President Barack Obama, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and the Defense Department, claiming a provision of the National Defense Authorization Act, signed into law Dec. 31, puts them in fear that they could be arrested and held by U.S. armed forces.

The complaint was filed Jan. 13 by a group including former New York Times reporter Christopher Hedges. The plaintiffs contend a section of the law allows for detention of citizens and permanent residents taken into custody in the U.S. on “suspicion of providing substantial support” to people engaged in hostilities against the U.S., such as al-Qaeda.

“The statute at issue places the public at undue risk of having their speech chilled for the purported protection from al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and ‘associated forces’ – i.e., ‘foreign terrorist organizations,’” Forrest said in an opinion yesterday. “The vagueness of Section 1021 does not allow the average citizen, or even the government itself, to understand with the type of definiteness to which our citizens are entitled, or what conduct comes within its scope.”

Forrest’s order prevents enforcement of the provision of the statute pending further order of the court or an amendment to the statute by Congress.

Ellen Davis, a spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in Manhattan, declined to comment on the ruling.

The plaintiffs claim Section 1021 is vague and can be read to authorize their detention based on speech and associations that are protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution.

Hedges and two other plaintiffs testified in a hearing before Forrest in March, the judge said. A fourth plaintiff submitted a sworn declaration. The government put on no evidence, Forrest said.

Forrest, an Obama appointee who has served on the Manhattan federal court since October, rejected the government’s arguments that the plaintiffs lacked standing to sue over the law and that it merely reaffirmed provisions in an earlier law, the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force, which was passed in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

In her opinion, Forrest said the government declined to say that the activities of Hedges and the other defendants don’t fall under the provision. Forrest held a hearing in March at which government lawyers didn’t call any witnesses or present evidence, according to the judge. The government did cross-examine the plaintiffs who testified and submitted legal arguments.

“The government was given a number of opportunities at the hearing and in its briefs to state unambiguously that the type of expressive and associational activities engaged in by plaintiffs — or others — are not within Section 1021,” Forrest said. “It did not. This court therefore must credit the chilling impact on First Amendment rights as reasonable — and real.”

Hedges, who testified he has been a foreign news correspondent for 20 years, said he has reported on 17 groups that are on a State Department list of terrorist groups. Hedges testified that after the law was passed, he changed his dealings with groups he had reported on, Forrest said.

“I think the ruling was not only correct, but courageous and important,” Hedges said in a telephone interview yesterday.

The case is Hedges v. Obama, 12-cv-00331, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

Thank you, Christopher Hedges!

God bless Judge Katherine Forrest!

H/t beloved FOTM reader Wade.  :D

~Eowyn

7 responses to “Judge blocks NDAA U.S. citizens detention law!

  1. Day is dawning………………………………Joy is coming ………

  2. Geez.

    I guess Forrest deserve some type of praise for actually doing her job and stating the obvious… but the fact that, in the first place, ANYONE could come up with the idea for such a law… and the fact that others would take it seriously and vote for it and others would promote it… AND THE FACT that there are numerous other laws on the books that are totally UnConstitutional but no judge has tossed those laws out – well – that all leaves me ill.

    So fine. Good job, judge Forrest.

    Though I fully expect a court above Forrest’s to overturn her ruling OR this to go back to DC, be ‘re-written’ in such a way that it means the same thing but is suddenly ‘Constitutional’ (according to the evil ones who now fully operate this country and world) and it becomes law anyway.

  3. Thank you Dr. Eowyn for this significant post! Thank you also, Mr. Hedges and Judge Forrest for your courage and intelligence! This gives all of us hope! You see, there are good judges in this world that base their decisions and ruling upon the evidence!

  4. this is good news,finding a judge now a days that actually stands for the Constitution is very rare. I was also excited over judge Malihi,turns out he is crooked also. Maybe this one is smart enough to know that in the end all of these communist individuals will be held accountable. Excellent post!

  5. Perhaps they might be having a laugh amongst themselves at the blindness and naivety of the herd ~ the bill is named NDAA? Break it down into numbers N = 5 ~ D = 4 add them = 9 Leaving A and A which is 11 . Get it ? 9/11 Just a thought on Gematria

  6. Federal Judge Kathryn Forrest just rejected the Obama administration’s request that she reverse her ruling against indefinite detention!
    H/t Joseph :D

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