ANNAPOLIS, Md. (Feb. 16, 2012) – The number of state and local governments lining up in opposition to the detention provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act continues to grow.
Last Friday, Maryland legislators joined the rising chorus against government sanctioned kidnapping. Delegates Michael A. McDermott (R-District 38B) and Michael D. Smigiel, Sr. (R-District 36) submitted HJR 12, which “condemns specified provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 that threaten United States citizens with unlawful detention without trial in violation of the citizens’ right to the guarantees of habeas corpus and due process and urges the United States Congress to reconsider and repeal certain provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012.”
The resolution builds a meticulous case against the detention provisions in sections 1021 and 1022 of the NDAA, and enumerates the rights protected by the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Rights of the Maryland Constitution, which includes in Article 44, “The right to have the provisions of the Constitution of the United States and the Maryland Constitution apply as well in time of war, as in time of peace.” The resolution then emphatically condemns the detention provisions of the NDAA and urges Congress to consider repeal.
Some argue that the NDAA language doesn’t actually provide for indefinite detention without due process on U.S. soil, and that it doesn’t apply to citizens or resident aliens. Tenth Amendment Center communications director Mike Maharrey points out that the vigorous debate on the meaning of sections 1021 and 1022 should raise concern in and of itself.
“It is clear to me, and I am far from alone in this view, that the detention provisions in the NDAA are vague, overbroad and open to interpretation. That leaves me to trust in the good character and moral clarity of Barak Obama, Rick Santorum or whoever happens to reside at the White House, to protect me and my fellow Americans from abuse of this power. No thanks!” he said.
State legislatures in Tennessee, Virginia and Washington, are considering legislation that would take things a step further, nullifying detention provisions outright, preventing state agents from cooperating with federal officials in the detention of people on American soil. Several local governments have passed resolutions along this line as well.
“Resolutions like the one proposed in Maryland are a great first step. We hope to see more state legislators take the duty seriously and interpose on behalf of their citizens, ” Maharrey said. “Hopefully, this resolution will pass in Maryland and spark further action, not only in the Old Line State, but across the nation.”
Sources close to the Tenth Amendment Center say several other state legislators will likely introduce NDAA nullification legislation in the coming weeks.
To track Liberty Preservation legislation across the U.S., click HERE.
For model legislation you can propose to your state legislator, click HERE.
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