The Paul-Amash amendment and NDAA: A loss and a win for liberty, Citizen Warrior by Tiffany Madison for Communities @WashingtonTimes.com
DALLAS, May 18, 2012 — A federal judge issued a preliminary injunction on Wednesday to prevent the Obama Administration from exercising the indefinite detention authority granted to it by the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act.
Section 1021 of the NDAA could have set a slippery precedent for indefinite detention of American citizens. Obama-appointed Judge Katherine Forrest of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York disagreed that the provision is merely a restatement of existing federal law, stating that the loose language did not “pass Constitutional muster” and could have a “chilling impact on First Amendment rights.”
This ruling was a milestone in the protection of 900 years of legal precedent, but the fight for due process raises frightening questions about the future of American liberty and the intentions of our representatives.
Section 1021 of the 1800-page, $662 billion spending bill effectively revoked due process and habeas corpus, which puts the burden of proof on the government to justify a person’s detention, for United States citizens merely accused of “substantially supporting” forces “associated” with al-Qaeda or the Taliban that “are engaged in hostilities” against the U.S. or its “coalition partners.” According to Forrest, the quoted terms are undefined, leaving interpretation to the discretion of the president.
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