Terrorism Trials & Investigations

Ayotte Amendment Fails

By Benjamin Wittes
Friday, October 21, 2011, 7:28 AM

The Kelly Ayotte amendment I discussed yesterday was voted down late last night, reports the Associated Press:
WASHINGTON — The Senate voted early Friday to reject a Republican effort to prohibit the United States from prosecuting foreign terrorist suspects in civilian courts, handing a victory to President Barack Obama.

By 52-47, senators turned aside a proposal by Sen. Kelly Ayotte (AY-aht), R-N.H., that would have forced such trials to occur before military tribunals or commissions. The Obama administration has fought to continue bringing such cases in federal courts, with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Attorney General Eric Holder writing Senate leaders on Thursday that the measure would deprive them of a potent weapon against terrorism and increase the risk of terrorists escaping justice.