Hedges v. Obama, No. 12-3176 (2d Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
Plaintiffs challenged Section 1021(b)(2) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (2012 NDAA), Pub. L. 112-81, 125 Stat. 1298, which appears to permit the President to detain anyone who was part of, or has substantially supported, al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces. Plaintiffs, journalists and activists, sought an injunction barring enforcement of Section 1021 and a declaration that it violated, among other things, their rights under the First and Fifth Amendments. The court concluded that the American citizen plaintiffs lacked standing because Section 1021 says nothing at all about the President's authority to detain American citizens; while section 1021 had no real bearing on those who were neither citizens nor lawful residents and who were apprehended abroad, the non-citizen plaintiffs also failed to establish standing because they had not shown a sufficient threat that the government would detain them under Section 1021; and, therefore, the court vacated the permanent injunction, having no need to address the merits of plaintiffs' claims.