Citing the “chilling effect” the act has on free speech, a federal judge on Wednesday permanently blocked the military from enforcing the National Defense Authorization Act.The NDAA allows the federal government to indefinitely detain anyone, including American citizens, accused of aiding or participating in terrorism.
The act sparked an avalanche of criticism from journalists and professors alike who claimed it hampered their professions and left them in fear of prosecution.
And on Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest — who issued a preliminary injunction against the act in May — sided with NDAA opponents, saying the act was too vague and violates the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment, Courthouse News Service reported yesterday.
Testimony from those already affected by the act, as well as the government’s inability to define the controversial and vague terms, led Forrest to rule the NDAA has a “chilling effect” on free speech.
“Courts must safeguard core constitutional rights,” Forrest wrote, according to CNS.
And while the Supreme Court has “sanctioned undue deference to the executive and legislative branches on constitutional questions” during previous wars “those cases are generally now considered an embarrassment.”