Federal prosecutors on Friday urged a judge to lift her order barring enforcement of part of a new law that permits indefinite military detention, a measure critics including a prize-winning journalist say is too vague and threatens free speech.
Manhattan federal court Judge Katherine Forrest this month ruled in favor of activists and reporters who said they feared being detained under a section of the law, signed by President Barack Obama in December.
The government says indefinite military detention without trial is justified in some cases involving militants and their supporters.
But critics worry that the law is unclear and gives the Executive Branch sole discretion to decide who and what type of activities can be considered as supporting militants.
The judge’s preliminary injunction bars the government from enforcing section 1021 of the National Defense Authorization Act’s “Homeland Battlefield” provisions.
The section authorizes indefinite military detention for those deemed to have “substantially supported” al Qaeda, the Taliban or “associated forces.”
In a brief filed in New York late on Friday, the government said the plaintiffs in this particular case had nothing to fear.
“Issuing an injunction regarding the President himself, or restraining future military operations (including military detention) … would be extraordinary,” prosecutors wrote, noting that they were considering an appeal of the judge’s order.
I also think this injunction is “extraordinary”, but clearly not in the way Federal prosecutors do…