Published on
Common Dreams

'Black Day' for Liberty: Hedges' NDAA Challenge Thrown Out

US troops now free to 'seize US citizens, strip them of due process and hold them indefinitely,' says Hedges

Jacob Chamberlain, staff writer

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit cast away a case Wednesday brought by journalist Chris Hedges and other prominent civil rights proponents that sought to render the indefinite detention of American citizens, made possible by the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012, unconstitutional.

Calling it a "black day for for those who care about liberty," Hedges said the ruling makes it possible for the military to "use troops on the streets to seize U.S. citizens, strip them of due process and hold them indefinitely in military detention centers."

"It's sad that we can't even find any kind of redress through the courts," Hedges told the Huffington Post. "There's nowhere left to turn to in this really egregious assault against our most basic civil liberties."

The plaintiffs will appeal the ruling but the U.S. Supreme Court is not required to take up the case.


Never Miss a Beat.

Get our best delivered to your inbox.

It seems to be the end of the road for Hedges v. Obama, which has stretched over the course of 16 months. The plaintiffs, who also include Noam Chomsky, Daniel Ellsberg, Alexa O’Brien and others, had argued that the sections of the NDAA which allow the military to indefinitely detain anyone who communicated with a suspected terrorists would essentially criminalize journalists and other U.S. citizens.

Read Hedges full statement below:

This is quite distressing. It means there is no recourse now either within the Executive, Legislative or Judicial branches of government to halt the steady assault on our civil liberties and most basic Constitutional rights. It means that the state can use the military, overturning over two centuries of domestic law, to use troops on the streets to seize U.S. citizens, strip them of due process and hold them indefinitely in military detention centers. States that accrue to themselves this kind of power, history has shown, will use it. We will appeal, but the Supreme Court is not required to hear our appeal. It is a black day for those who care about liberty.


Our pandemic coverage is free to all. As is all of our reporting.

No paywalls. No advertising. No corporate sponsors. Since the coronavirus pandemic broke out, traffic to the Common Dreams website has gone through the roof— at times overwhelming and crashing our servers. Common Dreams is a news outlet for everyone and that’s why we have never made our readers pay for the news and never will. But if you can, please support our essential reporting today. Without Your Support We Won't Exist.

Please select a donation method:

Share This Article