A federal circuit court preliminary injunction last month struck down the unconstitutional counter terrorism provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act — also known as the Homeland Battlefield Act — that would permit authorities to arrest and hold American citizens in indefinite detention without due process. The NDAA literally lays the legal framework for the kind of military totalitarian state that runs completely counter to the constitution, the Bill of Rights and the tradition of American civil liberties and due process.
The court decision was a stunning rejection of both the executive and legislative branches.
In her heroic decision Southern District of New York federal judge Katherine B. Forrest attacked the vague wording and guidelines of Section 1022 of the NDAA as being, as the LA Times noted ”facially unconstitutional — a rare finding – ”because of the risk it poses to the 1st Amendment. The judge noted that the vague wording of Section 1022 leaves too much discretion to federal officials as to who the law can be applied to and provides too little guidance to citizens about what would be considered illegal.
The May 16 decision at least temporarily sidelines the conspiracy of the legislative and executive branches to gut our rights under the dingy banner of combating terrorism. The Obama White House can, of course, appeal the decision and given Obama’s open duplicity on the issues of official secrecy, protection of whistle-blowers, civil liberties and due process there is no reason to believe that won’t happen, but for now at least the push to dismantle our rights has been stalled. It seems Mr. Obama, who once taught constitutional law, uses his expertise on the subject to target our most precious freedoms.
Given Congress passed the NDAA (with a vote from our supposedly liberal senator Mr. Kohl) with comfortable margins we are left hoping the judicial branch holds firm and loyal to America.
In a rare display of bipartisanship in fragmented America, the NDAA has been opposed by a wide variety of liberal and conservative groups and commentators. Certainly there are many critical issues roiling the political landscape these days, but none is more central to our future than the NDAA so stay alert for developments.
The following video is an interview with the lawyer who challenged the NDAA.
- Los Angeles Times – Federal Judge Blocks National Authorization Act Provision: http://articles.latimes.com/2012/may/18/local/la-me-gs-national-defense-authorization-ruling-20120518