The Senate votes to outlaw indefinite detention

On Friday, the Senate voted 67 to 29 for an amendment introduced by Senator Dianne Feinstein to the defense authorization bill that read as follows.

Dianne Feinstein

Dianne Feinstein

An authorization to use military force, a declaration of war, or any similar authority shall not authorize the detention without charge or trial of a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States apprehended in the United States unless an Act of Congress expressly authorizes such detention

I’m encouraged that the Senate is pushing back against unchecked Presidential power, although this is a basic Constitutional principle that ought to be taken for granted.   I’m glad to see Democrats willing to stand up to a Democratic President on a question of basic principle.

I’m not sure what the House of Representatives will do.   Most of the opponents of the amendment in the Senate were Republicans, and the House has a Republican majority

Click on The Senate Voted to Outlaw Indefinite Detention…Or Did It? for a report on the vote by Adam Serwer of Mother Jones.@

[Added 12/3/12]  The problem with the amendment is that it makes a Constitutional right subject to an act of Congress.  Still, it is a step in the right direction.

[Added 12/22/12]  I was too hopeful. The bill died in the House.

[Added 1/9/13]  Congress added a rider to the defense appropriations bill restricting the authority of the President to release prisoners or put them on trial.

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2 Responses to “The Senate votes to outlaw indefinite detention”

  1. Chico Says:

    Reblogged this on The Deliberate Observer.


  2. Atticus Says:

    You mean “small Government, liberty loving” Republicans are apposed to an amendment that might actually be a positive thing for liberty? I’ve never heard such a thing!


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