Lest there was any lingering doubt, the federal judge who enjoined enforcement of the indefinite detention provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) told the Obama Administration that it may not legally detain an American indefinitely based on a suspicion of support of terrorism unless the government can demonstrate a connection to the attacks of September 11, 2001.
In a memorandum clarifying her ruling from May 16, Judge Katherine B. Forrest (pictured) of the Southern District of New York reaffirmed her earlier opinion stating plainly that her earlier order stands and that the objections raised by the government in its request for a reconsideration were not valid.
In its Motion for Reconsideration of the judge’s injunction, the White House argued that, in its opinion, the judge’s prohibition on the application of Section 1021 of the NDAA applied only to the plaintiffs named in the original lawsuit.
Judge Forrest, while agreeing that her ruling concerned only Section 1021, informed the lawyers for the government that the injunction applied to anyone who might reasonably fear that his constitutionally protected freedom of expression would be affected by the specter of criminal punishment.
“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 of susceptible of application to protected expression,’” Judge Forrest explained.
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