Judge Affirms Obama's Detention Authority, Again

A second federal judge has affirmed the Obama administration's right to detain Guantanamo detainees associated with the Taliban and Al Qaeda. In a little noticed ruling late last week, judge Royce Lamberth endorsed the scope of authority delineated by another judge, Judge John Bates, who ruled that Obama may order the detention of anyone suspected of being a member of Al Qaeda -- with the definition of membership construed very broadly. Like Bates, Lamberth rejected the administration's desire to hold people who had provided "substnatial support" to Al Qaeda and the Taliban, but he, like Bates again, noted that the executive branch has the power to decide what constitutes membership. 

"However, the Court will still consider support of Taliban, al Qaeda, or associated enemy forces in determining whether a detainee should be considered "part of" those forces.

Like Bates, Lamberth implicitly endorsed the administration's contention that the source of its detention power was Congress's Authorization for the Use of Military Force in Afghanistan and not in Article II of the Constitution.

Presented by

Marc Ambinder is an Atlantic contributing editor. He is also a senior contributor at Defense One, a contributing editor at GQ, and a regular contributor at The Week.

A New York City Minute, Frozen in Time

This wildly inventive short film takes you on a whirling, spinning tour of the Big Apple

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

A New York City Minute, Frozen in Time

This short film takes you on a whirling tour of the Big Apple

Video

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we save the night sky?

Video

The Faces of #BlackLivesMatter

Scenes from a recent protest in New York City

Video

Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Life

The Supreme Court justice talks gender equality and marriage.

Video

The Pentagon's $1.5 Trillion Mistake

The F-35 fighter jet was supposed to do everything. Instead, it can barely do anything.

More in Politics

Just In