U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest in Manhattan yesterday ruled in favor of a group of writers and activists who sued President Barack Obama, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and the Defense Department, claiming a provision of the National Defense Authorization Act, signed into law Dec. 31, puts them in fear that they could be arrested and held by U.S. armed forces.
The complaint was filed Jan. 13 by a group including former New York Times reporter Christopher Hedges. The plaintiffs contend that section 1021 of the National Defence Authorization Act (NDAA) allows for detention of citizens and permanent residents taken into custody in the U.S. on “suspicion of providing substantial support” to people engaged in hostilities against the U.S., such as al-Qaeda.
Forrest’s order prevents enforcement of the provision of the statute pending further order of the court or an amendment to the statute by Congress.
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