Appeals Court Judge Temporarily Allows Indefinite Detention Provision

A federal appeals court judge lifted the injunction Monday on a provision of the National Defense Authorization Act challenged by journalists and activists who feared they would be subject to detention under the law. The one-page order by Second Circuit Judge Raymond Lohier does not explain the judge’s decision, and will only remain in effect until a three-judge panel reviews the case Sept. 28. Last week, a district court judge had blocked the provision authorizing the government to detain those who “substantially” or “directly” “support” the Taliban, Al Qaeda or associated forces, reasoning that the provision had the potential to violate the First Amendment, and rejecting the government’s argument that the law was merely an extension of its existing detention power. In a strongly worded motion, the government argued that the district court had “taken it upon itself to disagree with all three branches of government” and that the injunction “threatens tangible and dangerous consequences in the conduct of an active military conflict.”