DOJ requests new emergency powers from Congress, including OK to detain citizens without trial, amid coronavirus pandemic

by Bryan Brammer · Mar 23rd, 2020 10:43 am

Last Updated Mar 23rd, 2020 at 11:37 am

The Department of Justice has asked Congress for new emergency powers in an effort to combat the increasing spread of coronavirus throughout the United States, according to documents reviewed by Politico.

The documents detailed several proposals on numerous topics, including the statute of limitations, asylum, and how court hearings are managed and processed.

One of the proposals would grant the attorney general power to ask chief district judges to suspend court proceedings "whenever the district court is fully or partially closed by virtue of any natural disaster, civil disobedience, or other emergency situation."

The DOJ also asked for the ability to detain people indefinitely without trial during emergencies.

The Department's request was met with immediate criticism from both political parties.


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