May 22, 2012, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson today issued the following statement praising the U.S. Southern District of New York Court for enjoining enforcement of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that allowed for the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens for national security purposes:
"Judge Katherine Forrest has taken the first, necessary step of suspending enforcement of the section 1021 of the NDAA pending further review by federal courts, preventing the federal government from indefinitely detaining any U.S. citizen while the trial is taking place. The government's arguments in this case rest on a very broad interpretation of the President's war powers on the homeland. It is essentially claiming to already have the power to exercise war powers against citizens on the homeland.
"The Bill of Rights was designed to work under all circumstances, including wartime, and as such the authorization to use force in Afghanistan cannot supersede constitutional protections to due process. Nor can the government target citizens for activities otherwise protected by the First Amendment as violations of law or threats to national security.
"Judge Forrest must now go the extra step and find the NDAA's overbroad detention policies to be an unconstitutional overstep by Congress. If the government has enough cause to hold a citizen indefinitely, it can make its case at a trial with a jury of one's peers rendering a verdict. The reasons for indefinite detention would otherwise be prohibited by federal statute anyway, and subject to criminal penalties. Therefore the government has yet to articulate a reason why such authority is necessary, let alone constitutional."
Americans for Limited Government is a non-partisan, nationwide network committed to advancing free market reforms, private property rights and core American liberties. For more information on ALG please call us at 703-383-0880 or visit our website at www.GetLiberty.org.