DoJ seeks new powers during COVID-19 outbreak


The Department of Justice has called on Congress to grant the US Attorney General emergency powers during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a Politico report March 21. The proposal would allow federal judges to pause court proceedings, giving them the ability to detain people indefinitely without trial. Critics such as Norman L. Reimer, director of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, are raising concerns over violation of habeas corpus rights. Reimer said the proposal “means you could be arrested and never brought before a judge until they decide that the emergency…is over. I find it absolutely terrifying.”

Republican and Democratic lawmakers alike have criticized the proposal. Republican Sen. Mike Lee replied to the proposal with “OVER MY DEAD BODY,” while Senate Democratic minority leader Chuck Schumer remarked, “Two words: Hell no.” Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez commented “Absolutely not.”

From Jurist, March 23. Used with permission.

Photo via Jurist