AUGUSTA, Maine (March, 20, 2012) – Working at breakneck speed, the Maine legislature approved a resolution calling on the president and Congress to amend the National Defense Authorization Act to clarify that any provisions contained in it will not deprive United States citizens of the rights of due process.
The Maine House passed HP1397 on Monday, and the Senate took up the measure and approved it on Tuesday.
Rep. Richard Cebra (R-Naples) sponsored the resolution, and a long list of representatives and senators signed on as cosponsors.
“I am thrilled that it went through the Senate without a hitch,” Cebra said.
The primary opposition to the resolution apparently came from lawmakers wanting to expand the language to include not only United States citizens, but all people in U.S. territory.
The Maine legislature will now transmit the resolution to President Barack Obama, the president of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives and to each member of the Maine congressional delegation.
Maine lawmakers join Utah’s legislature voicing concern over indefinite detention provisions in sections 1021 and 1022 of the NDAA. Utah’s resolution passed both houses unanimously last week and pending the governor’s signature will also be forwarded to Washington.
So far, 11 state legislatures have taken up resolutions or bills opposing federal power to kidnap people on American soil. The Virginia House and Senate both passed a bill that would block any state agency, including the Virginia National Guard, from assisting any federal effort to implement NDAA detention provisions within the Commonwealth’s borders. The governor still has not signed the bill.
Tenth Amendment Center communications director Mike Maharrey said he hopes Maine lawmakers will capitalize on the overwhelming concern voiced about indefinite detention and pass non-compliance legislation similar to Virginia’s.
“It’s pretty clear people in Maine are concerned about the prospect of the federal government having power to lock people up and throw away the key. The next step is for Maine lawmakers to take it to the next level and make sure the rights of Mainers are protected. Madison called it a duty for a state to interpose and arrest the progress of evil. What can be more evil than federal power to kidnap you?” he said. “Some people call using the term kidnapping hyperbole, but what else do you call the power to drag somebody off by force and lock them up indefinitely with absolutely no due process? Yeah, I define that as kidnapping.”
Maharrey said asking Congress and the president to clarify sections 1021 and 1022 was a good first step, and praised the Maine House and Senate for taking a stand against detention powers. But he said he was skeptical that lawmakers in Washington would actually address the issue.
“When was the last time you ever saw Washington give back power? It just doesn’t happen. If citizens are going to be protected from this, it’s going to be up to the states. They have to refuse to comply.”
If you live in Maine, ask your senator and representative to take the next step and approve NDAA non-compliance legislation.
Click HERE for Maine legislator contact information.
To track NDAA nullification legislation across the U.S., click HERE.
If you don’t live in Maine and your state has not taken steps to stop kidnapping under the NDAA, you can find model Liberty Preservation Act legislation that you can propose to your state representative or senator HERE.