Pennsylvania Constable to Interpose Against Feds on NDAA and Patriot Act

Pennsylvania State Constable Ed Quiggle, Jr., the elected Constable for the City of Sunbury’s 9th Ward, will sign a resolution in opposition to the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012, also known as the NDAA, on Saturday, May 26th, 2012 at 10 a.m., in Cameron Park directly across the street from the Northumberland County Courthouse in Sunbury, Pennsylvania. The NDAA authorizes the federal government to arrest and indefinitely detain Americans and legal aliens without charge or trial.

The resolution states, in part:

all provisions of the NDAA and the Patriot Act which are unconstitutional, including as noted herein above, were and are null and void from their inception and will not be implemented, enforced, or otherwise supported in this Commonwealth by the Office of Constable of the 9th Ward of the City of Sunbury

Quiggle takes his duty to the next step with a promise to interpose on behalf of the people there. Also, from the text of the resolution:

in keeping with my oath to support, obey and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of this Commonwealth, I hereby express my commitment to interpose this office and stand in defense of all persons including citizens and lawful residents of the United States within this Commonwealth, against any and all attempts by the United States Armed Forces or any other agents of the United States government to subject the people to military force, military seizure, military detention, military trial, or to subject them to extraordinary rendition to any foreign country or entity.

On January 17th, 2012 the County Commissioners of Elk County, Pennsylvania unanimously passed a resolution opposing the NDAA, titled “To Preserve Habeas Corpus And Civil Liberties.” Sheriff Mike McMoran, Comanche County, Kansas, Sheriff Grayson Robinson, Arapahoe County, Colorado, and former Sheriff Richard Mack have signed resolutions opposing the NDAA and ordering no one in their department to cooperate with the enforcement of the NDAA. Virginia, Maine, and Utah have passed bills opposing and nullifying the NDAA, and many other states have introduced similar bills. Many local governments and groups have already passed resolutions.

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On Indefinite Detention: The Tyranny Continues

by Ron Paul

The bad news from last week’s passage of the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act is that Americans can still be arrested on US soil and detained indefinitely without trial. Some of my colleagues would like us to believe that they fixed last year’s infamous Sections 1021 and 1022 of the NDAA, which codified into law the unconstitutional notion that some Americans are not subject to the protections of the Constitution. However, nothing in this year’s bill or amendments to the bill restored those constitutional rights.

Supporters of the one amendment that passed on this matter were hoping no one would notice that it did absolutely nothing. The amendment essentially stated that those entitled to habeas corpus protections are hereby granted habeas corpus protections. Thanks for nothing!

As Steve Vladeck, of American University’s law school, wrote of this amendment:

“[T]he Gohmert Amendment does nothing whatsoever to address the central objections…. [I]t merely provides by statute a remedy that is already available to individuals detained within the United States; and says nothing about the circumstances in which individuals might actually be subject to military detention when arrested within the territory of United States…. Anyone within the United States who was subject to military detention before the FY2013 NDAA would be subject to it afterwards, as well…”

Actually, the amendment in question makes matters worse, as it states that anyone detained on US soil has the right to file a writ of habeas corpus “within 30 days” of arrest. In fact, persons detained on US soil already have the right to file a habeas petition immediately upon arrest!

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NDAA detention provisions go too far

Originally published in The Hill on 05-16-12. Co-authored by Shahid Buttar of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee

Few issues unite Democrats and Republicans, much less bring people together from across the entire political spectrum. But provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), authorizing military detention without due process, did just that.

This week, Congress has the opportunity to join a rare bipartisan chorus rising across the country. An amendment to the NDAA, sponsored by Representatives Adam Smith (D-Wash.) and Justin Amash (R-Mich.), has galvanized everyone from Occupiers to Tea Partiers, united by the specter of domestic military detention without trial.

In the last two months, state legislatures in Virginia and Arizona passed, with broad bipartisan support, bills forbidding state cooperation with any attempts at federally sanctioned kidnapping under the NDAA. A dozen city and county councils in eight states from coast-to-coast — led by Democrats, Republicans and even Green Party members — have passed similar resolutions.

Why the fuss?

Because the NDAA’s detention provisions effectively suspend due process. Sections 1021 and 1022 allow the military to detain anyone whom it — without judicial review — decides “substantially support[s]” al Qaeda or “associated forces” until the “end of hostilities.”

The NDAA even allows the military to ship off “covered persons” (including US citizens) and hold them overseas indefinitely. “[The NDAA] enshrines extraordinary rendition into law,” said Fairfax, California City Councilmember Larry Bragman (G). “We must resist. We must oppose. We must reverse.”

According to Rhode Island state Rep. and Marine Corps veteran Dan Gordon (R), “There is no definition of the term ‘belligerent’ and who gets to make that determination. That is a problem.”

The NDAA’s detention provisions place enormous power in the president’s hands. They empower our government to ignore constitutionally guaranteed First, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights. The authority to arbitrarily detain anyone on the basis of mere suspicion is the very definition of authoritarianism.

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Freshman Republicans Switch from Tea to Kool-Aid

Last week the Club for Growth released a study of votes cast in 2011 by the 87 Republicans elected to the House in November 2010. The Club found that “In many cases, the rhetoric of the so-called “Tea Party” freshmen simply didn’t match their records.” Particularly disconcerting is the fact that so many GOP newcomers cast votes against spending cuts.

The study comes on the heels of three telling votes taken last week in the House that should have been slam-dunks for members who possess the slightest regard for limited government and free markets. Alas, only 26 of the 87 members of the “Tea Party class” voted to defund both the Economic Development Administration and the president’s new Advanced Manufacturing Technology Consortia program (see my previous discussion of these votes here) and against reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank (see my colleague Sallie James’s excoriation of that vote here).

I assembled the following table, which shows how each of the 87 freshman voted. The 26 who voted for liberty in all three cases are highlighted. Only 49 percent voted to defund the EDA. Only 56 percent voted to defund a new corporate welfare program requested by the Obama administration. And only a dismal 44 percent voted against reauthorizing “Boeing’s bank.” That’s pathetic.

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