Obama Takes Advantage of Waiver Provision in Terrorism Law

Republicans who back a military detention requirement in a recent terrorism law intend to hold hearings on President Obama’s decision on Tuesday to take advantage of a waiver provision.

Obama issued an order that exempts broad categories of terrorism suspects from the military detention requirement and gives civilian authorities broad powers in such cases, according to the New York Times, NBC News and the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.).

The law had provided that the U.S. military should take custody of noncitizen arrestees who are aligned with al-Qaida and accused in an attack or plot against the United States or its allies. The law had given Obama waiver authority if needed to avoid disrupting terrorism probes.

According to NBC, “It’s clear the federal government intends to squeeze as much flexibility as it can from the restrictions.”

Sen. John McCain of Arizona issued a statement along with two other Republican senators saying the president’s order might violate the spirit of the law, the Wall Street Journal says.They are planning hearings on the issue.

We welcome your comments, but please adhere to our comment policy and the ABA Code of Conduct.

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.