WASHINGTON, May 20 (UPI) -- A federal judge ruled Wednesday the president has the power to hold some Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, prison detainees indefinitely and without charges.
In his ruling, U.S. District Circuit Judge John Bates said the president could detain prisoners the United States determined responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, or prisoners who either are or were al-Qaida or Taliban members, CNN reported.
However, Bates limited the Obama administration's power to imprison those whom government officials say "support" terror or enemy forces.
The decision comes as the White House and Congress are squaring off over what to do with the 240 Guantanamo prisoners once the military facility closes, which Obama pledged would happen in January 2010. Senate Democrats stripped funds allocated for the closing from a war spending bill, amid mounting pressure from Republicans and concerns about housing prisoners in the United States.