In refusing to hear a legal challenge to the indefinite detention provision of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 (NDAA), the United States Supreme Court has affirmed that the President and the U.S. military can arrest and indefinitely detain individuals, including American citizens. By denying without comment a petition for review in Hedges v. Obama, the high court not only passed up an opportunity to overturn its 1944 Korematsu v. United States ruling allowing for the internment of Japanese-Americans in concentration camps, but also let stand a lower court ruling empowering the President to use “all necessary and appropriate force” to indefinitely detain persons associated with or “suspected” of aiding terrorist organizations. In weighing in on the case before the lower court, attorneys for The Rutherford Institute challenged the Obama administration’s claim that the NDAA does not apply to American citizens, arguing that the NDAA’s language is so unconstitutionally broad and vague as to open the door to arrests and indefinite detentions for speech and political activity that might be critical of the government.
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