20 May

Indefinite detention provision signed into law by the President ruled unconstitutional

The highly-controversial indefinite detention provision signed into law by the President at the end of last year has been ruled unconstitutional by a U.S. District court judge in New York. The provision allows the military to detain anyone indefinitely if they are suspected of associating with terrorists – whether they realize it or not. But that law was challenged by a group of journalists and whistleblowers – including Chris Hedges, Noam Chomsky, and Daniel Ellsberg – who argued the law violated the First Amendment – since journalists often come in contact with terrorist organization and thus under the law could be subject to detention. On Wednesday night, Judge Katherine Forrest agreed with the plaintiffs in the case ruling that the law is unconstitutional – violating the First Amendment rights of the press and the Fifth Amendment. While I’ve been outspoken against the power of the courts to strike down laws as unconstitutional, the right decision was made in this case. Now, let’s hope our lawmakers listen and go back to the drawing board with a new law that doesn’t shred the Constitution and compromise what this nation was founded on, which is bravery – and not fear.

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