The trial of 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four other terror suspects could be still be held in a military tribunal.
The Washington Post reports that Obama administration officials are close to recommending that the president reverse Attorney General Eric Holder's decision to try the suspects in a civilian court in New York City.
The news comes after city officials and Congress raised objections due to concerns about costs, security and logistics.
But the American Civil Liberties Union Anthony D. Romero warned that such a move would be disastrous and urged the president to avoid giving in to political pressure.
"If this stunning reversal comes to pass, President Obama will deal a death blow to his own Justice Department, not to mention American values," Romero said.
"Even with recent improvements, the military commissions system is incapable of handling complicated terrorism cases and achieving reliable results," he argued. "President Obama must not cave in to political pressure and fear-mongering. He should hold firm and keep these prosecutions in federal court, where they belong."
Meanwhile, the Post reports that if the White House does change direction, Congress might provide the funds and legal authority needed to close Cuba's Guantanamo Bay prison. Officials reportedly have been negotiating with Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., over the issue.