On September 12, 2012 we had one of the biggest victories for civil liberties and against government overreach in a decade. Judge Forrest granted a permanent injunction against Section 1021(b)(2), the government promptly filed an appeal, and then went further: they requested a stay of execution on the injunction from Judge Forrest, once again providing no evidence and failing to answer all of her questions and concerns, while again claiming that the detention powers of the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) of 2001, (the law that allows the president to detain those who were involved in the 9/11 attacks and/or are members of Al Qaeda or the Taliban) and the NDAA’s Section 1021 powers are precisely the same.
This is disingenuous. Section 1021 provides sweeping powers of detention through incredibly vague and undefined terms, that are missing in the AUMF. The government is completely contradicting itself. Judge Forrest made it clear that her ruling did not touch the AUMF. And in their request for an emergency stay, the government claimed “irreparable harm” would be incurred if they do not have the powers of Section 1021.
On October 2, 2012, a stay against the permanent injunction was granted by a three judge motions panel of the Second District US Court of Appeals, pending appeal on the merits. Appeal briefs are due to the court on November 2, 2012 and December 3, 2012. The government then has until December 13, 2012 to file their brief in reply. The schedule is ordered to be expedited, and arguments will be docketed for the first available week following the filing of our opposition brief. That date is not yet set.
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