Full California Assembly to Vote on Rejecting NDAA “Indefinite Detention”

SACRAMENTO, Cal. (May 24, 2013) – Today, the California Assembly Appropriations Committee gave a “Do-Pass” approval to a bill that could render toothless the federal “indefinite detention” powers under the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).  The bill, by ASM Tim Donnelly was previously passed unanimously by the Public Safety Committee and is expected to get a vote in the full state assembly in the coming week.

California residents are strongly encourage to contact their state representative immediately to request a YES vote on AB351.  (contact info here)

If passed into law, AB351 would require that the state refuse to enforce or assist in the enforcement of indefinite detention as may have been authorized by either the 2012 NDAA or the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF).   It reads, in part:

“no agency of the State of California, no political subdivision of this state, no employee of an agency, or a political subdivision, of this state acting in his or her official capacity, and no member of the California National Guard on official state duty shall knowingly aid an agency of the Armed Forces of the United States in any investigation, prosecution, or detention of a person within California pursuant to

(A) Sections 1021 and 1022 of the NDAA,
(B) the federal law known as the Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107-40), enacted in 2001″

This would make a HUGE dent in any federal effort to detain without due process in California.  As Judge Andrew Napolitano has said recently, such widespread noncompliance can make a federal law “nearly impossible to enforce” (video here). Quite simply, the federal government is going to have an extremely difficult time – at best – carrying out indefinite detention in California without the assistance of California.

Weighing in on the bill, Tenth Amendment Center communications director Mike Maharrey noted the impact it would have if passed into law.  “Passage of AB351 would mark the beginning of the end of indefinite detention in California.  In those limited situations where federal enforcement still does occur in the face of massive refusal by the state, Rosa Parks proved it: “No” can change the world.”

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State Non-Compliance is Its Own Penalty

Imagine for a moment that you are a basketball player.  The opposing team has the ball and you’re playing defense.  What would happen if you turned around to find that the court had doubled in size and the other team suddenly had 10 players?  With more court to cover and more players to defend, you would be playing a losing game.

That’s what happens to the federal government when states refuse to comply with their crummy unconstitutional “laws.”

Even so, there is sometimes disagreement among supporters of nullification as to whether or not nullification bills need to have specific penalties prescribed for anyone who violates the nullifying legislation.  For many, putting this kind of language into legislation is a sign that the bill has “teeth” and that the state is not willing to have its sovereignty trampled on.  In some states, the lack of penalties has been contentious to the point that even nullification advocates won’t support nullification or non-compliance bills.

This is an issue that Ohioans must address regarding Ohio Senate Bill 36, which would nullify federal firearms legislation and make it a first degree felony to attempt enforcement of any such federal laws.  Scott Landreth, Coordinator of the Ohio Tenth Amendment Center, reported today that SB 36 would die in committee “if the 1st degree felony charge for violators is not reduced or removed.”

The inevitable question was then posed:  “Is passing SB 36 a step in the right direction, even if there are no penalties for those who violate the new law?”

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