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5 Things to Know About NDAA Indefinite Detention

By Robyn Hagan Cain | Last updated on

Last week, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals stayed U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest's decision to permanently enjoin enforcement of the National Defense Authorization Act's indefinite detention provision, reports The New York Times.

In a one-page order, Second Circuit Judge Raymond J. Lohier granted the Obama administration's request for an interim stay until an appellate panel can hear the matter.

While the Second Circuit prepares to consider the constitutionality of the controversial provision, here are five things you should know about NDAA indefinite detention.

  1. Who is subject to indefinite detention? The 565-page NDAA contains a short paragraph -- Section 1021(b) -- which allows the military to detain anyone it suspects "substantially supported" al-Qaida, the Taliban or "associated forces." The indefinite detention would last until "the end of hostilities." Even U.S. citizens on U.S. soil could be detained, Courthouse News Service reports.
  2. Can a detainee file a challenge? The NDAA does not provide judicial review. A detainee's only recourse under the NDAA is a habeas petition.
  3. Who is suing? Former New York Times foreign correspondent Chris Hedges is the lead plaintiff among a coalition of well-known journalists suing to block the NDAA. the Los Angeles Times reports. Other plaintiffs include Jennifer "Tangerine" Bolen, scholar Noam Chomsky, Icelandic member of parliament Birgitta Jonsdottir and Kai Wargalla, (both of Revolution Truth), Alexa O'Brien of U.S. Day of Rage, and "Pentagon Papers" activist Daniel Ellsberg.
  4. What's President Obama's stance on the NDAA? President Barack Obama issued a statement explaining that he would not hold people without trial when he signed the NDAA, and the administration issued regulations that bar the practice, Huffington Post reports. The Justice Department, however, has "vigorously" defended the law. (By contrast, Obama's DOJ stopped defending the Defense of Marriage Act.)
  5. When is the panel hearing? A three-judge panel will review Judge Forrest's injunction on Friday, September 28.

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