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The U.S. government won a temporary delay of a lower court ruling striking down a military detention law as unconstitutional.
U.S. Circuit Judge Raymond Lohier in New York today granted a Justice Department request for an interim stay of the Sept. 12 ruling. The government argued that the decision, which imposed a permanent injunction barring enforcement of the law, poses a threat to national security.
In a one-page order today, Lohier delayed the ruling until Sept. 28, when a three-judge panel of the appeals court will consider whether to extend the stay.
U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest invalidated provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act for 2012 that provide for detention by the U.S. military of people who provide support to al-Qaeda and the Taliban. The government appealed.
A group including former New York Times reporter Christopher Hedges in January sued President Barack Obama and Leon Panetta, the secretary of defense, challenging the law. The plaintiffs claim it could subject them to detention for acts including writing and advocacy that are protected by the First Amendment.
The case is Hedges v. Obama, 1:12-cv-00331, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).
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