If there is one thing I've learned from not only the ObamaCare ruling but studying numerous cases from the Supreme Court down to the federal appellate courts, it's that I won't ever count on the courts to fix a problem the legislature created. And neither should you.
Ever since Congress authorized indefinite detention in the FY 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, there has been an ongoing effort from some to get the provision struck down in court as an infringement on free speech.
Proponents of this effort were excited when a lower court struck down the provision, leading to headlines such as "Indefinite Detention 'Permanently' Banned." Unfortunately, the celebratory tone of these posts turned out to be premature, as the Obama administration found a higher court to put a stay on the "ban" on Tuesday.
Everyone is looking for that "magic pill" solution to our problems; unfortunately there isn't one, and on an issue as important as this, we can't sit around and wait hoping it eventually gets to the Supreme Court.
Not to belittle their efforts, there is one positive to this legal fight; it's keeping the NDAA and the government's desire to retain the power to indefinitely detain American citizens in the headlines. However, no one should be fooled into thinking the court will restore your liberties to you.
Remember, before the passage of the FY 2012 NDAA, both parties had claimed the power to indefinitely detain individuals under the past two administrations.
But, this mess was codified into law by Congress, and it is Congress that must be held accountable and fix it.
Remember the Smith/Amash amendment to prohibit the indefinite detention of persons arrested on U.S. soil? Sure, it failed by a vote of 182-238, but every time the NDAA comes up in the future, this amendment should be reintroduced and voted on; again, and again, and again, if necessary, until Congress acknowledges the slippery slope they have placed our liberties on and agree to curtail these dictatorial powers.
If your member of Congress was one of those who voted against curtailing the power to indefinitely detain Americans, take it upon yourself to make sure everyone you know in their district knows about this vote.
Bring it up at their next town hall; flyer neighborhoods letting people know their Congressman thinks it is ok to detain individuals on the mere suspicion of being a terrorist; do whatever you can to personally make this as toxic of a political issue as something like partial-birth abortion for your representative to be on record in support of. Make the issue of indefinite detention an albatross your representative will have to wear around his neck in shame.
Be creative, have fun with it. Believe me, it actually is a lot of fun holding members of Congress to account for their actions. As we say here often at Campaign for Liberty, it's time to turn that passion into action!