The US government filed an “emergency stay” with the US Second District Court on Monday, in a bid to maintain its ability to indefinitely detain any person without charge or trial. The move comes as a desperate attempt to lift last week’s federal court ruling in which Judge Katherine Forrest ruled against a provision of the US National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which allows the military to apprehend anyone, including US citizens, who may be assumed to be a terrorist, or affiliated with terrorists, and in turn detain them indefinitely. The law, signed by Obama, lead to a lawsuit, which was filed by a large group of journalists and activists, spearheaded by journalist Chris Hedges, who argued that the law was unconstitutional and a threat to free speech.
Forrest’s ruling maintained that the indefinite detention provision was unconstitutional; however, the ruling was immediately appealed by the Obama administration. On Monday, the Justice Department filed an emergency “immediate administrative stay” to allow the US government to immediately retain the ability to indefinitely detain until an appeal on the ruling is heard. Forrest said she would not rule on the “immediate administrative stay” until Wednesday. “The request by the government to keep the law on the books during the appeal process raises a disturbing question. If the administration is this anxious to restore this section of the NDAA, is it because the Obama government has already used it? Or does it have plans to use the section in the immediate future?” states Chris Hedges in a recent article for Truthdig.com.