The Leviathan, through its various bureaucracies and branches, is continuing to chip away at our Constitution, most recently in the form of a ruling from a federal appeals court claiming that, under the Obama administration’s most recent and most onerous National Defense Authorization Act, American citizens can be held indefinitely.
The ruling by a three-judge motions panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit essentially extended an “emergency” stay of a lower district court judge’s previous order that had struck down the defense bill provision.
In September, Infowars.com reported, U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest issued an order permanently blocking the NDAA provision, ruling that “First Amendment rights have already been harmed and will be harmed by the prospect of (the law) being enforced.”
However, the Obama Administration moved to appeal the ruling, attempting in essence to reinstate the indefinite detention provision, characterizing Forrest’s ruling – amazingly enough – as unconstitutional.
Administration went to a friendly court
In appealing Forrest’s ruling, the administration appears to have hand-picked a federal judge in which to file the action: U.S. Judge Raymond Lohier of the Second Circuit, an Obama appointee recommended by uber-liberal U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer of New York. Lohier was seated on the bench to replace Sonia Sotomayor in 2010, who was confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Needless to say, Lohier granted the administration’s request for an “emergency” stay, blocking Forrest’s ruling.
The three-judge panel last week upheld that emergency stay.
“We conclude that the public interest weighs in favor of granting the government’s motion for a stay,” Appeals Court Judges Denny Chin, Lohier and Christopher Droney wrote in a three-page order that also expedited the appeal.
Indeed, all three judges on the panel were appointed to the appeals court by Obama.
The order goes onto say:
First, in its memorandum of law in support of its motion, the government clarifies unequivocally that, ‘based on their stated activities,’ plaintiffs, ‘journalists and activists[,] . . . are in no danger whatsoever of ever being captured and detained by the U.S. military.’
Second, on its face, the statute does not affect the existing rights of United States citizens or other individuals arrested in the United States. See NDAA § 1021(e) (‘Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect existing law or authorities relating to the detention of United States citizens, lawful resident aliens of the United States, or any other persons who are captured or arrested in the United States.’).
Third, the language of the district court’s injunction appears to go beyond NDAA § 1021 itself and to limit the government’s authority under the Authorization for Use of Military Force…
So much for ‘equal protection’
Americans who are genuinely – and rightfully – concerned about this provision believe it gives the government the authority to essentially kidnap and indefinitely hold American citizens on a trumped-up and very generalized charge of “terrorism” (remember, the Obama Department of Homeland Security has already labeled how critics of Obama were “right wing” and racist, and therefore a threat to the nation).
“The lawsuit that Judge Forrest ruled on was brought by activists and journalists, including former New York Times columnist Chris Hedges, who argued that the law was unconstitutional because it could see journalists abducted and detained merely for speaking their minds,” Infowars.com reported.
The implications of the law are tremendous – and very scary (maybe that’s the point?).
Hedges and the others managed to successfully argue that some of the NDAA’s provisions, such as the indefinite detention clause, are so extremely vague as to chill free speech and restrict the freedom of individuals to associate with groups that have been labeled – correctly or arbitrarily – by the government as enemies of the state.
Critics also argued that the NDAA’s provisions violate the Fifth Amendment, which mentions due process of law specifically, as well as the “equal protection” clause in the 14th Amendment, which says everyone must be treated equally under the law.