Round 2: California vs NDAA “Indefinite Detention.”


On April 9th, the California Assembly Public Safety Committee voted unanimously in favor of Assembly Bill 351 (AB351), the California Liberty Preservation Act.    The bill has now been assigned to the Assembly Committee on Appropriations with a hearing and vote scheduled for May 15, 2013.

Introduced by Republican Assemblymember Tim Donnelly, AB351 is a strong stand against “indefinite detention” as supposedly authorized by the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2012.  It declares such federal power to be unconstitutional and also requires the entire state to refuse to enforce or assist its implementation.  A broad coalition officially supported the legislation and moved the normally partisan, and strongly democratic, committee to support the republican-introduced legislation.

The appropriations committee is going to be an even tougher path, but an endless stream of strong, but respectful phone calls to committee members in favors is likely to give the bill a chance as passing.

ACTION ITEMS for California

1.  CALL the chair of the Appropriations Committee.  Thank him for scheduling a hearing on AB351, and politely encourage him to vote YES on AB351.

Mike Gatto (916) 319-2043

2.  CALL all the other members of the Appropriations Committee.  Strongly, but respectfully, urge each of them to vote YES on AB351.  Let them know you want a vote on PRINCIPLE and not party.

Diane Harkey – (916) 319-2073
Franklin Bigelow – (916) 319-2005
Raul Bocanegra – (916) 319-2039
Steven Bradford – (916) 319-2062
Ian Calderon – (916) 319-2057
Nora Campos – (916) 319-2027


Maine Industrial Hemp Nullification Passes House Committee, 9-1


By a vote of 9-1, Maine Representatives in the Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee approved LD525 (Industrial Hemp) which allows hemp cultivation in the state of Maine, effectively nullifying unconstitutional federal acts which ban the same.

Representative Harvell introduced the legislation. Under current Maine law, hemp is legal for certain purposes, though the law mandates that an individual can’t receive a license to grow until federal law changes. Harvell’s bill removes the requirements that an applicant for an initial license to grow industrial hemp for commercial purposes must submit a set of the applicant’s fingerprints and file with the Commissioner of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry documentation indicating that the seeds planted were a type and variety of hemp approved by the commissioner and also repeals the provision that licensure is contingent upon action by the Federal Government.

The amendment simply states:


Illinois Senate Passes Anti-Drone Bill, 52-1

A bill which would restrict drone spying to the point of near extinction passed the Illinois State Senate by a vote of 52-1 on Thursday.

If signed into law, SB1587 would prohibit law enforcement angencies from using unmanned drones to gather evidence or other information without a warrant.  It reads, in part:  “A law enforcement agency may not use a drone to gather evidence or other information.”

The act does leave the door open for some drone use, but is very restrictive about what could be authorized.  It’s prime exception allows for the use of drones “to counter a high risk of a terrorist attack by a specific individual or organization if the United States Secretary of Homeland Security determines that credible intelligence indicates that there is such a risk.”

In addition, the bill would permit law enforcement agencies to use drones when attempting to locate a missing person as long as that flight was “not also undertaking a criminal investigation.”  And it would allow a drone to be used to review a crime scene and take traffic crash scene photography.  Any information gathered by a drone would have to be destroyed within 30 days unless the information is proven to contain evidence of criminal activity or is relevant to a trial or investigation.

The Freedom from Drone Surveillance Act passed 52-1.  (See the roll call HERE)

Sponsoring Sen. Daniel Biss told colleagues the “people of Illinois have a reasonable expectation for privacy.”


Michigan House Unanimously Passes NDAA Nullfication Bill

LANSING, Mich. (April 19, 2013) – A bill seeking to nullify indefinite detention under the National Defense Authorization Act by blocking state cooperation unanimously passed the Michigan House Thursday.

HB4138 essentially takes Michigan out of the indefinite detention business.

No agency of this state, no political subdivision of this state, no employee of an agency of this state or a political subdivision of this state acting in his or her official capacity, and no member of the Michigan national guard on active state service shall aid an agency of the armed forces of the United States in any investigation, prosecution, or detention of any person pursuant to section 1021 of the national defense authorization act for fiscal year 2012″

Since indefinite detention without due process violates the Fourth Amendment, this bill would effectively prohibit any state cooperation with federal kidnapping and represents a huge step toward protecting due process in the Great Lake State. This would make a big dent in any effort to further restrict due process – and would be a big step forward for Michigan. As Judge Andrew Napolitano has said recently, such widespread noncompliance can make a federal law “nearly impossible to enforce” (video here)

HB4138 passed 109-0.

“I’m not too surprised by the unanimous vote,” bill sponsor Rep. Tom McMillin said. “I mean, who’s going to vote against due process? Who would vote against liberty?”