Dr. Sarah Lohmann
Professor Chad Austin†
Over a decade after the terrorist attacks of September 11, “War on Terror” legislation still has the power to allow both American and foreign citizens to be detained anywhere in the world without charge or trial, and to be held indefinitely if they are suspected of having ties to terrorism. On April 25, the U.S. Supreme Court decided not to review Hedges v. Obama, a case that challenged the judicial precedents on which such security detentions are based. In so doing, the Supreme Court lost a historic opportunity to set the record straight on how long and under what circumstances post-9/11 detainees may be held.
The case, filed just before Christmas, asked the Supreme Court to make a final decision on whether U.S. citizens and others can be held indefinitely without charge or trial by the U.S. military. The case had been bounced around in the lower courts for two years.