Blog of Rights

On the Agenda: January 3–6, 2012

By Suzanne Ito, ACLU at 11:34am

While many Americans were getting ready for New Year’s Eve festivities Saturday, President Obama decided to ring in the new year by signing into law sweeping worldwide indefinite detention powers by signing the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). President Obama did issue a signing statement saying he had “serious reservations” about the provisions, but that statement only applies to how his administration would use it and would not affect how the law is interpreted by subsequent administrations.

The Bush administration made similar claims of worldwide detention authority to hold even a U.S. citizen detained on U.S. soil in military custody, and many in Congress now assert that the NDAA should be used in the same way again.

Thankfully we have three branches of government, and the final word belongs to the Supreme Court, which has yet to rule on the scope of detention authority. The ACLU will fight worldwide detention authority wherever we can, be it in court, in Congress, or internationally.

Tuesday, January 3

Today the ACLU Project for Religion and Belief and the ACLU of Eastern Missouri filed a lawsuit charging the Salem Public Library and its board of trustees with unconstitutionally blocking access to websites discussing minority religions by improperly classifying them as “occult” or “criminal.” Sites blocked by the library’s Netsweeper software include the official webpage of the Wiccan church, the Wikipedia entry pertaining to Wicca, Astrology.com and the Encyclopedia on Death and Dying, which contains viewpoint-neutral discussions of various cultures’ and religions’ ideas of death and death rituals.

And Happy New Year!

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