On September 12th, 2012, Federal District Judge Katherine B. Forrest issued a permanent injunction against enforcement of Section 1021 of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act. In July 2013, the 2nd Circuit ruled the plaintiffs did not have standing to challenge that law.
Monday, the Supreme Court put the final nail in this suit by denying to hear the case, without comment.
The lawsuit at issue, Hedges v. Obama, was brought in early 2012 by a group of journalists, scholars and activists. Containing such noted figures as Noam Chomsky, Daniel Ellsberg, journalist Chris Hedges, and others, this “Freedom 7” challenged Section 1021 of the 2012 NDAA as unconstitutionally overbroad.
This section determines who is covered by the 2012 NDAA, and contains such vague terms as “substantial support” “direct support,” and “belligerent act” and, if one falls under one of these terms, they could be subject to indefinite military detention without charge or trial.
Dan Johnson, PANDA National Director, said:
In 1944 the Supreme Court approved the pre-emptive detention of over 110,000 Japanese-Americans. The Court’s denial 70 years later proves that we cannot rely on 9 people in black robes to defend our freedom.
It is now up to the states, cities, counties, and people of this nation to show the Supreme Court that it is not the final arbiter of our human rights. As 5 cities have already done so, I urge Americans across the country to begin action to ban these sections in their communities, raise awareness, and push back against this denial. If Washington D.C. thinks this is the last they will hear from us, they are very, very wrong.
In a statement on the outcome of this denial, lead plaintiff Tangerine Bolen wrote:
We are no longer a nation ruled by laws. We are nation ruled by men who have so steeped themselves in a false narrative that at the same time they are exponentially increasing the ranks of terrorists, they are destroying the rule of law itself. It is madness upon madness – the classic tale of becoming the evil you purport to fight while believing you remain righteous.
If the outcome of this lawsuit does not cement the fact that the courts will not defend the Constitution, nor our rights with it, there is little more evidence to be presented. The Federal tier has failed us. The states, localities, and eventually the people, are where we will stand. As we resist, the work of the plaintiffs will not be forgotten.