Legislative Development

Legislative Update

By Benjamin Wittes
Friday, May 27, 2011, 10:33 AM

Unbeknownst to me, the NDAA as passed by the House of Representatives yesterday contains new--and very bad--provision mandating military commission trials for terrorist suspects. Added on the floor through an amendment by Rep. Vern Buchanan, which passed on a 246-to-173 vote, it reads as follows:

After the date of the enactment of this Act, any foreign national, who--
(1) engages or has engaged in conduct constituting an offense relating to a terrorist attack against persons or property in the United States or against any United States Government property or personnel outside the United States; and
(2) is subject to trial for that offense by a military commission under chapter 47A of title 10, United States Code;
shall be tried for that offense only by a military commission under that chapter. 

Really not helpful.