Memorandum for Daniel J. Bryant, Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legislative Affairs: Re: Applicability to 18 U.S.C. § 4001(a) to Military Detention of United States Citizens [June 27, 2002] [open pdf - 2MB]
This Justice Department Office of Legal Counsel memorandum discusses the President's authority to transfer U.S. citizens to military detention based on their status as enemy combatants. "You have asked us whether the detention of United States citizens as enemy belligerents by the U.S. Armed Forces violates 18 U.S.C. § 4001(a)(2000). We understand that the question has arisen in briefings before the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence concerning the recent transfer of Jose Padilla, aka Abdullah al Mujahir, from the custody of the Department of Justice to the control of the Department of Defense. [...] As we explain below, the President's authority to detain enemy combatants including U.S. citizens. is based on his constitutional authority as Commander in Chief. We conclude that section 4001(a) does not, and constitutionally could not interfere with that authority."
U.S. Dept. of Justice: http://www.justice.gov/