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US: Federal court tosses injunction on NDAA indefinite detention

Press TV

The Obama administration regained the authority to indefinitely detain US citizens when a federal appeals court on Wednesday lifted a lower court order which had blocked the indefinite detention provision of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

The 3-0 decision by the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in New York was a disappointment to journalists and activists who had filed the lawsuit arguing the NDAA unconstitutionally gives the president the authority to detain anyone suspected of supporting al-Qaeda or the Taliban.

They argued that journalists who simply speak with terrorists might be subject to arrest and detention without due process.

In September 2012, US District Court Judge Katherine B. Forrest blocked the indefinite detention provision of the NDAA.

Forrest, whom Obama appointed to the federal court in 2011, ruled that the provision was unconstitutional in part because its language was too vague. However, the Obama administration quickly moved to appeal the ruling and the law has been under temporary injunction until now.

Former New York Times reporter Chris Hedges, who served as the lead plaintiff in the case, told the Huffington Post he was frustrated by the court’s decision.

“It’s sad that we can’t even find any kind of redress through the courts,” he said. “There’s nowhere left to turn to in this really egregious assault against our most basic civil liberties.”

U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan said plaintiffs in the case lack standing because the NDAA provision “says nothing at all about the President’s authority to detain American citizens.”

The plaintiffs may intend to appeal the ruling in the Supreme Court but the high court is not required to take their case.

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