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.

Adults Who Live In Treehouses

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

Join the Discussion

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

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The Best 71-Second Animation You'll Watch Today

A rock monster tries to save a village from destruction.

Video

The Case for Napping at Work

Most Americans don't get enough sleep. More and more employers are trying to help address that.

Video

A Four-Dimensional Tour of Boston

In this groundbreaking video, time moves at multiple speeds within a single frame.

Video

Who Made Pop Music So Repetitive? You Did.

If pop music is too homogenous, that's because listeners want it that way.

Video

Stunning GoPro Footage of a Wildfire

In the field with America’s elite Native American firefighting crew

More in Politics

Just In