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Attorney General Bill Barr gives a speech in Washington, D.C., on March 6. Photo: Michael Brochstein/Echoes Wire/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Republican and Democratic lawmakers reacted with concern Saturday to a Politico report that the Department of Justice is seeking new powers to ask judges to detain people indefinitely without trial in emergency situations.

The big picture: Politico reports the DOJ documents for Congress it reviewed "detail the department’s requests to lawmakers on a host of topics, including the statute of limitations, asylum and the way court hearings are conducted." The unconfirmed report prompted Doug Stafford, the chief strategist for Rand Paul (R-Ky.), to tweet his agreement with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), who criticized such a measure.

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

What they're saying: Several other members of Congress spoke out against the reported proposals, which come amid the novel coronavirus outbreak and include for Congress to grant Attorney General Bill Barr "power to ask the chief judge of any district court to pause court proceedings 'whenever the district court is fully or partially closed by virtue of any natural disaster, civil disobedience, or other emergency situation.'"

  • Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) tweeted, "OVER MY DEAD BODY."
  • Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) tweeted, "This is wrong and must not be allowed to happen."
  • Rep. Justin Amash (I-Mich.) tweeted, "Congress must loudly reply NO."
  • Arizona state Sen. Martín Quezada (D) tweeted, "That would be a hard no."
  • Axios has contacted the DOJ for comment, along with the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), about the report.

Go deeper

11 mins ago - Sports

Raiders player becomes first active in NFL to come out as gay

Photo: Julio Aguilar via Getty Images

Las Vegas Raiders player Carl Nassib becomes the first active NFL player in history to come out as gay on Monday.

Why it matters: The NFL has "plenty of" members of the LGTBQ community, but the vast majority are closeted due to fear that their identity will negatively impact their career, former NFL player Ryan O'Callaghan told Reuters in 2019.

Airlines, unions want DOJ to prosecute unruly passengers

Photo: Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images

A coalition of airline industry partners asked the Justice Department on Monday to begin prosecuting disruptive passengers.

Why it matters: Increased political divisions and conflict over pandemic guidelines have led the Federal Aviation Administration to take some form of enforcement action over 400 times in the first five months of 2021, compared to 146 in all of 2019, according to the coalition.