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May 16, 2012

Judge Reins In Indefinite Detention - Homeland Battlefield Act Portion Found Unconstitutional

By Amanda Lang

Citing a threat to journalists and scholars, a judge on Wednesday struck down as unconstitutional a portion of a law giving the government wide powers to regulate the detention, interrogation and prosecution of suspected terrorists. U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest in Manhattan said in a written ruling that a single page of the law has a "chilling impact on First Amendment rights" for journalists and others. She cited testeimony by journalists that they feared their association with certain individuals overseas could result in their arrest because a provision of the law subjects anyone who "substantially" or "directly" provides "support" to forces such as al-Qaida or the Taliban can be detained indefinitely. She said the wording was too vague and encouraged Congress to change it...

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Citing a threat to journalists and scholars, a judge on Wednesday struck down as unconstitutional a portion of a law giving the government wide powers to regulate the detention, interrogation and prosecution of suspected terrorists. U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest in Manhattan said in a written ruling that a single page of the law has a "chilling impact on First Amendment rights" for journalists and others. She cited testeimony by journalists that they feared their association with certain individuals overseas could result in their arrest because a provision of the law subjects anyone who "substantially" or "directly" provides "support" to forces such as al-Qaida or the Taliban can be detained indefinitely. She said the wording was too vague and encouraged Congress to change it...

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