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Second Circuit grants emergency stay allowing enforcement of indefinite detention law

Judge Raymond Lohier of the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit [official website] on Monday ordered a stay [order, PDF] of a permanent injunction [opinion, PDF; JURIST report] that blocked portions of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) [text, PDF], allowing for their enforcement pending appeal. The order came after the US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] filed a motion for emergency stay [JURIST report] earlier in the day. The DOJ contended that Judge Katherine Forrest's ruling incorrectly interpreted the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) [text] and may have done "irreparable harm to national security and public interest by injecting added burdens and dangerous confusion into the conduct of military operations abroad during an active armed conflict." The order permits the DOJ to file an oversized motion against the permanent injunction.

Forrest issued an injunction against the law in May, and clarified in the following weeks that her injunction should be interpreted broadly [JURIST reports]. Several civil rights groups have praised her decision and have circulated petitions [advocacy website] arguing that the government should not appeal the injunction. Lawyers for the government filed their appeal [JURIST report] with the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit [official website] in August. US President Barack Obama signed the NDAA into law [JURIST report] on December 31, 2011.

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