Hedges v. Obama

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

724 F.3d 170 (2d. Cir. 2013)

American citizens (and non-citizens) who fail to establish a sufficient basis to fear detention do not have Article III standing to challenge the government’s authority under the NDAA to detain individuals suspected of substantially supporting terrorist activity.

Relevant Facts

Christopher Hedges (an American journalist), other domestic and foreign journalists, and activists (the plaintiffs) filed suit in federal district court against President Barack Obama and others in his administration (the defendants), challenging the legality of §1021(b)(2) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (NDAA). The NDAA permits the federal government to indefinitely detain individuals suspected of substantially supporting terrorist organizations. The plaintiffs contended that the NDAA could be interpreted to label journalists and political activists as covered persons subject to the law if they interviewed suspected terrorists or supported outspoken critics of the federal government’s position on combating terrorism.

The district court agreed, issuing a permanent injunction blocking the indefinite-detention powers of the NDAA. The court of appeals stayed the injunction pending an appeal by the defendants.

Issue

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Holding & Reasoning

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Concurrence

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Dissent

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Last updated:

December 20, 2020

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Procedural History

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Citations

724 F.3d 170 (2d. Cir. 2013)