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Barr Smacks Down Report That DOJ Sought Ability to Detain Defendants Indefinitely

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The outbreak of the coronavirus has affected many aspects of Americans’ lives, and governments around the world are drastically expanding their power throughout the pandemic.

Some reports said the Justice Department was asking for the power to detain defendants indefinitely.

However, Attorney General William Barr told Fox News on Thursday that those reports are false, “It’s cockamamie nonsense.”

“It’s a gross mischaracterization,” he added. 

Instead, Barr said that the Justice Department had asked Congress for ideas on how to help judges grappling with deadlines as courts across the country are closing due to fears about the spread of the coronavirus.

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“The whole legal system is rife with deadlines,” Barr said, adding, “You have so many days to appeal a decision and so on.”

Additionally, Barr said the department was looking for a way to “come up with a consistent approach” for judges across the country.

The reports sparked bipartisan outrage, Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) shared the story on Twitter along with his strong disapproval of the request, “OVER MY DEAD BODY.”

Additionally, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) blasted the reported request as “abhorrent,” as IJR has previously reported. 

“It does not matter how urgent times are. We have to make sure that we retain our civil rights. And there’s no reason for us to be waiving folks’ civil rights in an emergency,” she said during an interview on CNN. 

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