Tue07072015

Last updateMon, 06 Jul 2015 6pm

LOS ANGELES Tuesday, July 7th 2015 10:35

 PLUNDERED

Pirates at the Port (of Los Angeles)

Jack Humphreville
LA WATCHDOG-The growth of the Port of Los Angeles and its ability to maintain and create good paying jobs and its market share of imported cargo are under siege by external market forces as well as the demand by the San Pedro and Wilmington communities to finance $400 million of public benefits over the next ten years. The Harbor Department, one…

Why I Support 'No Gays Allowed'

C.J. Prince
GUEST WORDS-Last week, a Tennessee retailer made headlines when he took the whole we-won't-bake-cakes-for-gay-weddings thing to the next level. In response to last week's Supreme Court marriage ruling, Jeff Amyx, owner of Amyx Hardware, taped a "No Gays Allowed" sign to his storefront window. Amyx, who is also a Baptist minister, explained to WATE…

Never on Sunday

Paul Hatfield
GREEK VOTE, A PERSPECTIVE-According to the lyrics from the memorable theme to Never on Sunday (enjoy the trailer), it is OK to kiss in Greece except for Sunday. However, on this past Sunday, July 5th, Greek voters invited the EU to kiss them. I need not mention the part of the anatomy, though. Contrary to some extreme views, this does not mean the…

LA Transpo Slowed to a Crawl by Outdated and Ignored Laws

Ken Alpern
GETTING THERE FROM HERE-Reform of the City Charter or its Bylaws is almost certainly in order, but it's no secret that the City of LA … for all its hype about being for "sustainable living" and being "environmentally-friendly" … is burdened by a host of either outdated laws (which encourage inappropriate overdevelopment) or ignored laws (which are…

You’ll Never Guess Why I love Los Angeles

Fred Mariscal
LATINO PERSPECTIVE-I remember the first time I went on a vacation outside of Mexico. We went to Los Angeles when I was 6 years old. I didn’t have to wonder why my dad choose Los Angeles, he knew I wanted to go to Disneyland and meet Mickey Mouse. That first trip we took that summer made me fell in love with this City. Los Angeles has everything a…

Unsolicited Advice for New LA Councilmember David Ryu

Joe Linton
GUEST COMMENTARY-Los Angeles City Councilmember David Ryu. Photo via ryuforcouncil.com It’s July. That means a new budget year for government agencies, where there is some turnover: some new faces, new officers, and new committees. LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas is the new chair of the Metro Board of Directors, replacing LA Mayor Eric…

LA Working on Plan to Plaster the City with Digital Billboards

Adrian Glick Kudler
GUEST WORDS-People in Los Angeles love digital billboards!! We can't get enough of them! Give us more!!! Oh, thank god, the LA City Council is ON IT. Lawsuits have tragically darkened so many of those blinky, flashy ads, but yesterday the City Council's Planning and Land Use Management Committee voted to bring them back big time. They want to…

The Persuaders: California Hospital Association

Bill Raden
CAPITAL AND MAIN SPECIAL REPORT-The nurses who showed up at state Senator Richard Pan’s Capitol office in May were furious. They had been assured by Pan, a Democrat from Sacramento, that he would be on their side when it came time to vote on Senate Bill 346, a charity care measure aimed at providing transparency to the state’s currently murky…

Vacations are a Necessity…Not a Luxury

Denyse Selesnick
Since most of the readers of CityWatch are “high achievers” you have undoubtedly faced the situation where you feel you can’t afford to take a vacation right now because of a million different reasons. Many of these boil down to one…without your presence things will fall apart. Really, they are just excuses … not reasons! Getting away from your…

 

  • Costco: Free Range Liars!

    Christian Cristiano
    WELLNESS POLITICS-Eight years ago grocery retailer Costco (COST) pledged to transition out of using eggs from chickens in small cages to cage free…
  • 10 Things Over-Thinkers Are Tired Of Over-Thinking

    Lindsay Holmes
    WELLNESS-While writing this intro, I deleted the first paragraph approximately six times. My thoughts ranged from "Just get to the point already" to…
  • Can Procrastination Give You a Heart Attack?

    Christian Cristiano
    WELLNESS-A study posted in the journal of behavioral medicine linked procrastination with hypertension and cardiovascular disease. Specifically…



Thu Jul 16, 2015 @12:00AM
LA Equality Awards RSVP
Thu Jul 30, 2015 @ 6:00PM - 08:00PM
A Taste of Chatsworth


One More Time! Grateful Dead say goodbye.

USA World Cup Soccer win … sealed with a kiss

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

Indefinite Detention – Detained Indefinitely by Court

CERDAFIED - On September 12, 2012, a 112 page decision by Judge Katherine Forrest, in the case of Hedges v. Obama, of the US District Court of the Southern Region of New York, permanently enjoined enforcement of the indefinite detention portion of the National Defense Authorization Act.

Our congress debated section 1021 of the National Defense Authorization Act and though some claimed that the power of indefinite military detention was not a provision, other congressional members cried foul, and said that the author purposely tried to obscure its hideous truth.

The American Civil Liberties Union and the Republican Liberty Caucus  provided legislators with ample information to expose the deceptive content, and the author’s ill-willed intentions. Their opposition to the NDAA. included a well organized write-in and call-in campaign.  Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) spoke up against the bill in Congress, leading the heated debate, to no avail.

Rep. Allen West (R-FL) supported the NDAA and he blithely dismissed complaints regarding indefinite detention. He said, “We cannot look to guarantee those who seek to harm the US the constitutional rights granted to Americans, if we extend that to them, this war on terror, now it’s a criminal action.”

Exactly when did law become so repugnant to our law makers? They churn out new laws like a production line, but baulk at the thought of a prisoner of war using the legal system to protect their rights. Who more should rely on international law than a soldier? We clearly crossed a threshold between civilized behavior and barbaric retaliation

President Obama signed the federal law on December 31, 2011, and in May, Judge Forrest issued a preliminary injunction to prevent the government from detaining persons without trial and judicial review.

Our leadership has used the fear of “terrorism” to disregard international law in the form of the Geneva Convention which controls wartime rights of prisoners, both civil and military. It established protections for the wounded, as well as civilians in and around a war zone.

Judge Forrest acknowledges, “The Court is mindful of the extraordinary importance of the Government’s efforts to safeguard the country from terrorism. In light of the high stakes of those efforts as well as the executive branch’s expertise, courts undoubtedly owe the political branches a great deal of deference in the area of national security.”

“Nevertheless, the Constitution places affirmative limits on the power of the Executive to act, and these limits apply in times of peace as well as times of war. Heedlessly to refuse to hear constitutional challenges to the Executive’s conduct in the name of deference would be to abdicate this Court’s responsibility to safeguard the rights it has sworn to uphold.

“And this Court gives appropriate and due deference to the executive and legislative branches–and understands the limits of its own (and their) role(s). But due deference does not eliminate the judicial obligation to rule on properly presented constitutional questions. Courts must safeguard core constitutional rights. A long line of Supreme Court precedent adheres to that fundamental principle in unequivocal language.”

“Although it is true that there are scattered cases–primarily decided during World War II–in which the Supreme Court sanctioned undue deference to the executive and legislative branches on constitutional questions, those cases are generally now considered an embarrassment (e.g., Korematsu v. United States, 323 U.S. 214 (1944) (upholding the internment of Japanese Americans based on wartime security concerns)), or referred to by current members of the Supreme Court (for instance, Justice Scalia) as “wrong” (e.g., Ex parte Quirin, 317 U.S. 1 (1942) (allowing for the military detention and execution of an American citizen detained on U.S. soil). Presented, as this Court is, with unavoidable constitutional questions, it declines to step aside.”

The court essentially confirmed what the vast majority of civil rights lawyers claimed; Indeed the NDAA does contain language that allows for indefinite detention under order of the Executive Branch.

The Plaintiffs in the suit are writers, journalists and activists who have demonstrated to the court a reasonable fear of indefinite military detention. The court was unable to assure the following Plaintiffs that they were not at risk; Christopher Hedges, Daniel Ellsberg, Jennifer Bolen, Noam Chomsky, Alexa O’Brien, U.S. Day of Rage, Kai Wargalla, and Hon. Brigitta Jonsdottir. (Read Chris Hedges account.)   

The first issue of note, was whether the Plaintiffs particular past activities could subject Plaintiffs to indefinite military detention. This was important to determine, because the Plaintiffs rights had to be at risk for the case to move forward. The Government refused to answer that question.

“Article III of the Constitution, allowing federal courts to entertain only actual cases and controversies, requires that a plaintiff have standing to pursue a claim. Plaintiffs here, then, must show that they have a reasonable fear that their actions could subject them to detention under § 1021(b)(2).3”

Only after the May 16, opinion of the court, the government responded, “[T]he conduct alleged by plaintiffs is not, as a matter of law, within the scope of the detention authority affirmed by section 1021.”

The standing must be made at the outset of the case. The government’s reluctance to respond to the issue actually gave more credibility to the plaintiff’s case. The only thing that was clear was our government did not want to clarify anything, thus reducing the wide interpretation they hoped to gain.

While the government claimed that they had no interest in the Plaintiffs prior actions using their First Amendment rights, there still remained a threat of indefinite military detention in the future, as the Plaintiffs were determined to stay on course and not be dissuaded by the government.

“Third, the Government argues that even in the absence of its proffered assurance, plaintiffs cannot have standing since § 1021 is simply a reaffirmation of the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force, Pub. L. No. 107-40, 115 Stat. 224 (2001) (the “AUMF”)--and since plaintiffs were never detained under the AUMF in the ten years since its passage, they cannot have a reasonable fear that they will be detained under § 1021(b)(2) now. The Court rejects that argument,”

Another issue was the vague terminology contained in section 1021, and the government’s inability to give definitions to the key words.

“In particular, plaintiffs commenced this lawsuit asserting--and they continue to assert--that the phrases “associated forces,” “substantially supported,” and “directly supported” all are vague. Indeed, even after this Court’s May 16 Opinion in which the Court preliminarily found a likelihood of success on the merits of plaintiffs’ vagueness/due process challenge, the Government nevertheless did not provide particular definitions.”

The government attempted to bypass the constitutionality of section 1021, however the court rejected their assertions.

“Fourth, the Government argues that even if plaintiffs have standing, this Court should essentially “stay out of it”--that is, exercise deference to the executive and legislative branches and decline to rule on the statute’s constitutionality.”

“Heedlessly to refuse to hear constitutional challenges to the Executive’s conduct in the name of deference would be to abdicate this Court’s responsibility to safeguard the rights it has sworn to uphold.”

The judge granted a permanent injunction against section 1021 of the NDAA. While we can take comfort in the actions of Judge Katherine Forrest, we are left with absolute scorn for our paid representatives who shirked their duties to their constituents by voting to approve this egregious attack on human rights.

No doubt, the Defendants in this case; Barak Obama, Leon Panetta, John Mc Cain, John Boehner, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Mitch Mc Connell, and Eric Cantor will continue down the path of indefinite military detention, and will attempt to resurrect another version of their Frankenstein.

The violations of our First, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments are just too high of a price to pay for the attacks on September 11, 2001. We cannot build peace from fear and retaliation. Nor can we violate even ONE man’s rights and be righteous.  

For more information, read the ruling.

(Lisa Cerda is a contributor to CityWatch, a community activist, Chair of Tarzana Residents Against Poorly Planned Development, and former Tarzana Neighborhood Council board member.) -cw



CityWatch
Vol 10 Issue 75
Pub: Sept 18, 2012


 

Share