On New Year’s Eve, President Obama signed the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). In May, Judge Kathryn Forrest ruled that a provision of NDAA that allowed for indefinite detention of terrorism suspects was unconstitutional.
Recently, the Obama administration filed a motion with Judge Forrest to reconsider her ruling, which the judge has just denied.
According to plaintiffs’ attorney Carl Mayer, “Why the Obama administration persists in trying to defend this unconstitutional provision within the NDAA or ‘Homeland Battlefield Act’ remains a mystery. The Administration’s arguments have been rejected again by a federal judge and it is time for them to admit defeat and drop any appeal.”
One of the plaintiffs, Jennifer Bolen, a coordinator of the lawsuit and director of the group RevolutionTruth added, “We remain steadfast in our commitment to protecting not only our Constitutional protections, but to the rights of all US citizens. We did not bring this case forward so that seven of us could be exempt from a dangerous assault on the First and Fifth Amendments. Thankfully, the rule of law still works in this nation.”
With 2013′s National Defense Authorization Act debate approaching, the hope is that civil liberties activists can convince the Senate to reverse course on indefinite detention.
Electorally speaking, Obama has some wiggle room here: if he continues supporting the indefinite detention law in NDAA, he can project an image that he is strong on national defense, while it’s not the type of position that will alienate Democratic voters or those on the Left who fear a Mitt Romney presidency.
But, this is the Obama presidency—one big hedge.