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Published by zerohedge

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Published by: zerohedge on Sep 13, 2012
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1UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTSOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK---------------------------------------CHRISTOPHER HEDGES, DANIEL ELLSBERG,JENNIFER BOLEN, NOAM CHOMSKY, ALEXAO’BRIEN, US DAY OF RAGE, KAI WARGALLA,HON. BRIGITTA JONSDOTTIR M.P.,Plaintiffs,-v-BARAK OBAMA, individually and asrepresentative of the UNITED STATES OFAMERICA; LEON PANETTA, individuallyand in his capacity as the executiveand representative of the DEPARTMENTOF DEFENSE, JOHN MCCAIN, JOHN BOEHNER,HARRY REID, NANCY PELOSI, MITCHMCCONNELL, ERIC CANTOR asrepresentatives of the UNITED STATESOF AMERICA,Defendants.---------------------------------------X::::::::::::::::::::::X12 Civ. 331 (KBF)OPINION AND ORDERKATHERINE B. FORREST, District Judge:On May 16, 2012, this Court preliminarily enjoinedenforcement of § 1021(b) of the National Defense AuthorizationAct for Fiscal Year 2012, Pub. L. No. 112-81, 125 Stat. 1298(Dec. 31, 2011)(“the NDAA”). See Hedges v. Obama, No. 12 Civ.331, 2012 WL 1721124 (S.D.N.Y. May 16, 2012) (order grantingpreliminary injunction) (the “May 16 Opinion”). On June 6,2012, in response to a footnote contained in the Government’s
“The Government” as used herein refers to those defendants in this actionthat are properly before the Court. See Hedges, 2012 WL 1721124, at *12.
September 12, 2012
Case 1:12-cv-00331-KBF Document 61 Filed 09/12/12 Page 1 of 112
2motion for reconsideration suggesting an unduly narrowinterpretation of that ruling, this Court issued a summary orderstating that the injunction was intended to--and did apply to--any and all enforcement of § 1021(b)(2), not simply toplaintiffs in this lawsuit.
On August 7, 2012, the Court held oral argument on therequest for a permanent injunction (the “August hearing”). Atthe commencement of that argument, the Court confirmed that theparties agreed that the evidentiary record developed at theMarch 29, 2012, preliminary injunction hearing (the “Marchhearing”) would constitute the trial record for this matter.Hr’g Tr. of Oral Argument on Permanent Inj., Aug. 7, 2012 (Dkt.See Hedges v. Obama, No. 12 Civ.331, 2012 WL 2044565, at *1 (S.D.N.Y. June 6, 2012) (summaryorder). On June 8, 2012, the parties agreed that neither sidewould seek to add to the evidentiary record presented in supportof the preliminary injunction and that they would proceeddirectly to a hearing on plaintiffs’ request for a permanentinjunction. (See Order (June 8, 2012) (Dkt. No. 43) at 1.)Accordingly, the parties submitted additional legal memorandabut no additional factual materials.
During a June 7, 2012, conference call with the Court, the parties wereprovided with the opportunity to seek a decision on the motion forreconsideration or to proceed directly to a hearing on a permanentinjunction. The parties agreed to proceed directly to a permanentinjunction. Accordingly, the Court denied the motion for reconsideration asmoot. (See June 8 Order (Dkt. No. 43) at 1.)
Case 1:12-cv-00331-KBF Document 61 Filed 09/12/12 Page 2 of 112
3No. 59) (“Tr. II”) at 3. The Court bases its findings of facton that record.For the reasons set forth below, this Court grantsplaintiffs’ motion and permanently enjoins enforcement of§ 1021(b)(2) of the NDAA (referred to herein as “§ 1021(b)(2)”).I.
SUMMARY OF OPINIONPlaintiffs are a group of writers, journalists, andactivists whose work regularly requires them to engage inwriting, speech, and associational activities protected by theFirst Amendment. They have testified credibly to having anactual and reasonable fear that their activities will subjectthem to indefinite military detention pursuant to § 1021(b)(2).At the March hearing, the Government was unable to providethis Court with any assurance that plaintiffs’ activities (aboutwhich the Government had known--and indeed about which theGovernment had previously deposed those individuals) would notin fact subject plaintiffs to military detention pursuant to§ 1021(b)(2). Following the March hearing (and the Court’s May16 Opinion on the preliminary injunction), the Governmentfundamentally changed its position.In its May 25, 2012, motion for reconsideration, theGovernment put forth the qualified position that plaintiffs’particular activities, as described at the hearing, if describedaccurately, if they were independent, and without more, would
Case 1:12-cv-00331-KBF Document 61 Filed 09/12/12 Page 3 of 112

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This a particularly lucid and well-defended argument. A pleasure to read (at least as much as a 112 page legal document can be...). Puts a lot of the legal debate over the limits of executive detention authority into context.
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