NOTE: Please repost this information with OR without a link or attribution. Our goal is to get this information out to as many people as possible.
If passed into law, California Assembly Bill 351 (AB351), would nullify “indefinite detention” as purportedly authorized by the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the Iraq War Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) or any other federal law which claims to authorize such unconstitutional federal powers. AB351 has been assigned to the Public Safety Committee and will have a hearing AND vote on April 9th.
Your support is needed right now to help this bill move forward. Please take all of the following steps to support AB351. (note, if you are the leader of a group- grassroots or other – there are special action steps that you can take in support as well, below)
1. Contact the chair of the public safety committee. Politely thank him for scheduling the hearing on AB351. Encourage him to vote on principle, not party – with a YES on AB351.
Tom Ammiano, chair
Tel: (916) 319-2017
Fax: (916) 319-2117
CALL or FAX. You can even call in the evenings and over the weekend. Leave him a respectful message and ask for a call back so you can discuss this with the Assembly member of his staff. If you live in the area, visit him in person. Emails tend to get lost and hold very little impact.
2. Contact the rest of the Public Safety Committee members. Strongly, but respectfully, let them know that you want them to vote YES on AB351 to move it to a debate and vote in the full State Assembly. Call in the evening and over the weekend too. If you reach a voicemail, leave your message – and ask for a call back so you can speak to the legislator or their staff personally.
Melissa Melendez, vice-chair (916) 319-2067
Byron Jones-Sawyer, Sr. (916) 319-2059
Holly J. Mitchell (916) 319-2054
Bill Quirk (916) 319-2020
Nancy Skinner (916) 319-2015
Marie Waldron (916) 319-2075
CALL or FAX. You can even call in the evenings and over the weekend. Leave each a respectful message and ask for a call back so you can discuss this with the Assembly member of his staff. If you live in the area, visit them all in person. Emails tend to get lost and hold very little impact.
3. Attend the hearing. A group of people from across the political spectrum filling the hearing room will have a VERY powerful impact. You can sign up to testify in favor of AB351, and you’ll generally receive 2 minutes to let the committee know why they should vote YES on AB351.
Tuesday April 9th, 2013
9 a.m. – State Capitol, Room 126
4. Group leaders, send an official letter in support. The Public Safety Committee takes special note of letters in support of bills. If you are a group leader, whether it’s a grassroots coalition or a more formal organization, send a letter to the committee in support of AB351. You’ll want to keep it short, respectful, and professional. Inform the committee of your group, let them know your group wants to see a YES vote on AB351, and explain why if you’d like to add additional comments.
Assembly Public Safety Committee
1020 N Street (LOB), Room 111
Sacramento, California 95814
5. Share this information widely. Please pass this along to your friends and family. Also share it with any and all grassroots groups you’re in contact with around the state. Please encourage them to email this information to their members and supporters.
6. Encourage your local community to take action as well. Present the Liberty Preservation Act to your city county, your town council, or your county commissioners. Various local governments around the country are already passing similar resolutions and ordinances. Local legislative action present a great way to strengthen a statewide campaign against NDAA indefinite detention
model legislation here:
7. Join the NDAA activist group on Facebook. Connect with others, plan strategy, build a coalition, and help get AB351 passed!
California Assembly Bill 351 (AB351) would ban compliance or enforcement NDAA “indefinite detention”. It reads, in part:
Sections 1021 and 1022 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (Public Law 112-81) violate portions of federal law, the United States Constitution, and the California Constitution and are invalid and illegal in this state.
(c) It is the policy of this state to refuse to provide material support for or to participate in any way with the implementation within this state of Sections 1021 and 1022 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (Public Law 112-81).
This would make a HUGE dent in any effort to further restrict due process – and would be a big step forward for California. It would also create shockwaves around the rest of the country. As Judge Andrew Napolitano has said recently, such widespread noncompliance can make a federal law “nearly impossible to enforce” (video here)
There is absolutely ZERO serious dispute about the fact that the federal government cannot “commandeer” the states to carry out its laws. None. Even the Supreme Court has affirmed this multiple times.
In the 1992 case, New York v. United States, the Supreme Court ruled that Congress couldn’t require states to enact specified waste disposal regulations.
In the 1997 case, Printz v. United States, the Supreme Court ruled that the federal government could not command state law enforcement authorities to conduct background checks on prospective handgun purchasers.
In the 2012 case, National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, the Supreme Court ruled that a significant expansion of Medicaid was not a valid exercise of Congress’s spending power, as it would coerce states to either accept the expansion or risk losing existing Medicaid funding.
In each of these cases, the Supreme Court made is quite clear that their opinion is that the federal government cannot require the states to act, or even coerce them to act through a threat to lose funding. Their opinion is correct. If the feds pass a law, they can sure try to enforce it if they want. But the states absolutely do NOT have to help them in any way.
Tim Donnelly, a Republican, has authored and sponsored the bill and is working to build a strong non-partisan group of supporters to get it passed. Such attacks on due process rise above the usual party politics, and all across the country people from all ends of the political spectrum are demanding an end to “indefinite detention.” Whether it’s 99%’ers, or Tea Partiers – the ACLU or the Tenth Amendment Center – grassroots activists around the state of California know that now is the time to put aside differences and work towards a common goal. Due process for all, that is.
Note: while some believe that the 2013 NDAA eliminated indefinite detention, it does not. Dianne Feinstein introduced a very weak amendment to 2013 – and it failed anyway. 2012 indefinite detention provisions remain in tact – and the Obama administration is aggressively defending them in court.
Also, a case about indefinite detention is still being heard in federal court. Last year, Federal Judge Katherine Forrest struck down these indefinite detention powers as unconstitutional. She issued a temporary court order blocking the use of these powers. That order was revoked by the appeals court and indefinite detention powers remain while the case is currently on appeal but not decided.
Additionally, when asked by Judge Forrest if the federal government was using indefinite detention in violation of her temporary order blocking it, Barack Obama’s attorneys refused to confirm, leaving the door open that the Feds were potentially using this power in secret, even in outright defiance of an order from the federal courts.
Because of all this, and more, California stands on strong ground to reject a federal power which has already been struck down in federal court and is still pending appeal.
The California Assembly should pass AB351 with full confidence.
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