The House voted Friday to reject an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which would have prevented the government from holding terrorism suspects captured in the U.S. in indefinite military detention. An amendment by Reps. Adam Smith (D) and Justin Amash (R) failed 182-231, while a separate amendment confirming that U.S. citizens had habeas corpus rights passed 243-173.
“It’s a shame that the House of Representatives has turned its back on our nation’s security and the rule of law,” Human Rights First’s Raha Wala said in a statement. “Last year, Americans of all political persuasions were dismayed when politicians approved indefinite detention that could extend here in the United States. Today, the House missed opportunity to change course and realign counterterrorism policy with American values.”
A federal judge had blocked portions of the NDAA, saying the law's language was "sufficiently vague that no ordinary citizen can reliably define” the conduct that allows the government to hold a person indefinitely.