A federal judge has told the Obama administration that all Americans are protected by her preliminary injunction preventing enforcement of a citizen detention clause in a new federal law supported by Obama.
The federal government had told the judge it concluded that her recent ruling exempted only the named plaintiffs in a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the provision.
That interpretation would have enabled the government to enforce the detention provision against all Americans except the plaintiffs.
U.S. District Judge Katherine B. Forrest shot back in a new Memorandum Opinion and Order yesterday that said because the possible injury to Americans includes the loss of their rights, her order was intended to protect everyone.
“The injunction in this action is intentionally expansive because ‘persons whose expression is constitutionally protected [and not party to the instant litigation] may well refrain from exercising their rights for fear of criminal sanctions by a statute susceptible of application to protected expression,’” Forrest wrote.
On May 16 she issued a preliminary injunction banning enforcement of Section 1021(b)(2) of the National Defense Authorization Act. The section allows indefinite detention of people designated by the government as terrorists or terror-linked.
The law allows them to be held without hearing, charges or bond – essentially without their civil rights. And their detention can be indefinite.
The Obama administration asked for reconsideration and said it was interpreting the injunction as a protection only for the individual plaintiffs.
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