Back to News & Commentary

Preventive Detention Must be Repudiated and Overturned

Share This Page
January 5, 2009

Saturday’s New York Times profiled the ACLU’s al-Marri case, in which we’re challenging the military’s indefinite detention of a legal U.S. resident in a South Carolina Navy brig. This case will be heard by the Supreme Court this term, and the government’s brief is due on February 20.

It goes without saying that we’re hoping for a complete 180-degree turnaround from the current administration’s claim that the president can order the military to seize legal residents from their homes in the United States and detain them indefinitely without charge, and seeking an elimination by the Supreme Court of the dangerous precedent created by the lower court’s decision upholding that claim. ACLU attorney Jonathan Hafetz, who’s representing al-Marri, tells the Times:

If, as President-elect Obama has pledged, the rule of law in America is to be restored…then Mr. al-Marri’s military detention must cease and the lower court’s ruling upholding the president’s power to order the military to seize legal residents and American citizens from their homes and imprison them without charge, must be overturned.

To learn more about Mr. al-Marri, watch a video of Jonathan and ACLU Legal Director Steve Shapiro discuss the case at our annual Supreme Court briefing.

Learn More About the Issues on This Page