On Tuesday, April 9th, the California Assembly Public Safety Committee will hold a hearing and do-or-die vote on AB351. Passage of this bill would be a serious setback to those advancing the power of “indefinite detention” in the United States.
AB351 NEEDS YOUR HELP RIGHT NOW TO PASS.
1. CALL all the members of the Public Safety Committee. Call in the evenings or on the weekend as well. We want them to have a flood of messages in support by the time they have the hearing on Tuesday. Be VERY respectful, but be strong. Urge each of them to vote YES on AB351.
Tom Ammiano, chair (916) 319-2017
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
2. Attend the Hearing. You’ll have an opportunity to sign up to testify regarding AB351. CLICK HERE, for our NDAA fact sheet with information on NDAA and on the role of the states to do something about it.
Tuesday April 9th, 2013
9 a.m. – State Capitol, Room 126
3. 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.
4. 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.