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US Appeals Indefinite Detention Ruling
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An order from a U.S. judge was appealed earlier this week by federal prosecutors. The order bars the enforcement of a law that allows military detention indefinitely for people who have ‘substantially supported’ al Qaeda, ‘associated forces’ or the Taliban. The judge, Katherine Forrest, ruled back in May in support of reporters who claimed they were fearful of being held because of the law. The law was signed by President Barack Obama in December.

The United States government is not allowed to enforce the National Defense Authorization Act’s ‘Homeland Battlefield’ provisions, section 1021, because of the preliminary injunction placed on it by Judge Forrest. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals received the appeal, which was filed by the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office. The defendants named in the case are Obama and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.


Judge Forrest has been asked by the plaintiffs to make the injunction permanent and oral arguments were held Tuesday. Court documents filed in July by the United States said that the plaintiffs “cannot point to a single example of the military’s detaining anyone for engaging in conduct even remotely similar to the type of expressive activities they allege could lead to detention.”

One of the plaintiffs in the case is Chris Hedges. Hedges is a Pulitzer Prize winner and formerly worked for the New York Times as a war correspondent.

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