MAY 18, 2012 5:55AM

Judge: Obama's NDAA Unconstitutional

Rate: 11 Flag




One can only wonder what is occurring in Congress when a law like the National Defense Authorization Act passes through both branches with so much support.  Of course, a president who was previously a constitutional lawyer signing it into law is even more perplexing.

NDAA's 'Indefinite Detention' Provisions Unconstitutional, says Judge

In their suit, the plaintiffs stated they could be detained 'indefinitely' for their constitutionally protected activities. Citing the 'vagueness' of certain language in the bill, U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest -- who was appointed to the court by Obama -- agreed, and said the law could have "chilling impact on First Amendment rights" for journalists, activists, and potentially all US citizens.

While this is not exactly surprising since there has been much online buzz about this National Defense Authorization Act being in violation of the U.S. Constitution, it is good to see it verified by a judicial system that has in recent years lost the confidence of a vast amalgam of the American populace. 

But there is another interesting thing I discovered in looking for more information on this development.  The opening pages of GOOGLE do not list one single major news outlet carrying the story.  That fact, I think, speaks volumes, especially in tandem with the pathetic nature of signing into law of this horrific bill by a president whose background is specifically constitutional law.  And it says much about how out of touch most of the American voters who support Obama really are.


The fact that Obama – supposedly a constitutional scholar – actually signed the NDAA into law is more telling, in my opinion.  It saddens me to think our choices are between four more years of this kind of pathetic lawmaking, or worse, and that so many Americans refuse to make a firm stand against this particular brand of tyranny.


 Chipping away, chipping away, chipping away …



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It's hard to believe this law was written, harder to believe it passed both branches of Congress, and totally unbelievable that Obama signed it into law.

You're right and that just underscores the pathetic state of America today. Thanks for stopping by.
Well, the kindest thing one can say is that in this case a court served its purpose -- to stand against the excesses of the legislative and executive branch. It will be VERY interesting to see what happens when and if this case makes it to the Supreme Court.

As for this "And it says much about how out of touch most of the American voters who support Obama really are", you probably should have left it at this: "And it says much about how out of touch most of American voters are".

As has been said -- and the voters in NC just proved (not to mention voters in 30 other states), the Bill of Rights could not withstand a popular vote.

Your point about American voters in general is well-taken. There are those, however, who recognize the particular problem that is Obama. It is certainly true, though, there are many conservatives who would probably support such a bill had a Republican signed it. But since Obama signed it, I thought would direct this at those who continue to support him in spite of such horrific acts. Since I believe he will be reelected, I am holding hope that, in a second term, his having no concerns about reelection will allow him to grow some testicles and provide some actual leadership within the Democrat Party that has up to this point been a total failure in almost every way.

As for a national "popular vote" – one man, one vote – on the Bill of Rights, I’m not sure that it would render the same results as single-state votes in states that are dominated by backward fundamentalist ignorance. But it might.

At any rate, at a time when America is faltering so consistently in supporting the very ideals on which it was founded, this development at least provides a momentary glimpse of some light. As you point out, it may yet be blackened out.
Well, Rick, since 30 states have passed such laws, I'm afraid this is one that can't be laid at backward fundamentalists -- save that there are a lot more backward fundamentalists in every state than either of us would like. For instance, coastal Oregon and Washington may be hotbeds of liberalism, but the interior Idaho-side of those states is as backward fundamentalist as anywhere else. Or so I'm told.
Yeah, Tom, the fundies are everywhere. But there are quite a few states that are less populated where they have more pull and states that are more populated where they are less influential. The problem, I think, is not so much one of a majority opinion as one of too many not voting. But it could well be that America is simply becoming a religionist's paradise and will eventually become a form of theocracy.
Agreed. That's why I concur with those who say Freedom of/from Religion wouldn't stand a chance if put to a popular vote, and I'm willing to bet a constitutional amendment declaring Christianity as the official state religion would win in a landslide.

Riffing on Shakespeare, Sharia by any other name would smell as bad.
And this is why I condemn religion in general. Political oppression is historically the main benefit of it, which is, of course, no benefit at all and is instead a negative net result; always was, always will be the same.

Ignorance makes for an imposing majority and denial is a powerful ally of ignorance.

I have suggested the same suspicions regarding the healthcare bill. "We know this will fail, but we can gain political capital by saying, 'Hey, we tried.'"

I appreciate your devious and cynical view. ;-)

As you say, though, there is another layer to this that requires a less cynical and more principled consideration. Thanks for your contribution.
Thanks for this update. Being a headline reader on the news, I did miss this, which is why I like coming to OS. :)

Also glad I read all of the comments. I hadn't considered that interpretation for this bill and the healthcare bill. Guess I'm not as cynical as I thought I was.
phyllis, lol! It may also be the case that I am MORE cynical than I realize.
I think you overestimate what Obama can do without overwhelming public backing. As such, I think the fact that the mainstream media finds it a snore is much more relevant as the start of what really is a vicious circle of consequences.

I've pondered this question a lot, and I'm nearly sure the calculation ends up being that this is an area where Obama cannot afford a single mistake. The political road is littered with politicians that made even one misstep on national security and that was the end. No amount of other good can make up for it. If he has taken the same steps as the Republicans, he insulates himself from criticism and can still blame problems on chance.

That's not to say I endorse the ethics of this at all, but on the other hand it can't change my vote, which I'm sure is part of the calculation, too. I get no better on the other side, and I lose much for considering a shift.

In the end, I grieve for those who don't have rights due them and it terrifies me that I could ever be subject to same. It's a terrible precedent. But there are so many wars being fought simultaneously here and this one is about individuals. Climate is my highest priority as it is about the species. Economics is next as it affects our whole nation, and I include Health Care as part of that. And while these detention rules are of theoretical consequence to the nation, at least so far they have not been applied that way. A big gamble? Sure. But so is not attending to those other matters. The choice isn't great, but it's what we've got.

You write, "I get no better on the other side, and I lose much for considering a shift."

It's true you get no better from the other side, but it is not true that you lose much for "considering" A shift and equally untrue that you lose much by making a third shift. As long as we stay in this self-destructive cycle, we will just continue the downward spiral we've been in for decades.
Let's just pretend for a moment that the individual mandate of Obamacare is also unconstitutional.

Let's also pretend that the HHS regulations mandating that all employers (including church sponsored organizations) must provide health insurance coverage even for medical interventions to which they have moral objections is also unconstitutional.

Then, Rick, who are you inclined to favor for president on Election Day?

For president, I consider only someone NOT associated with either major party. In Congress, much the same, but conservatives are clearly the main problem, whether Republican or Democrat.