Congress: President Cannot Indefinitely Detain US Citizens

Congress: President Cannot Indefinitely Detain US Citizens

On June 13, Congress voted to limit President Obama’s ability to indefinitely detain U.S. citizens who are suspected of terrorism.

By a vote of 214-211, Congress approved an amendment to the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) saying that “nothing in U.S. law can deny citizens the right to a court hearing.”

Amendment sponsor Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) wanted to resolve the question over whether the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) “gives the president the authority to indefinitely detain terror suspects who are U.S. citizens.” 

I want to make clear that nothing in AUMF or the the 2012 NDAA or any other law for that matter can be construed to deny the great writ of habeas corpus.

This is an important amendment that alleviate any of the well-founded concerns of the American people concerning the possibility of indefinite detention of United States citizens.

Twenty-one Republicans voted against the amendment, while only three Democrats voted for it.

Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins.