In another David flings a rock in Goliath’s eye moment, Pennsylvania state Senator Mike Folmer introduced the Liberty Preservation Act (SB999) last week.
The bill would prohibit state employees from cooperating with federal enforcement of sections 1021 and 1022 of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 (NDAA) that purport to allow arrest and detention without charge or trial on U.S. soil.
No employee shall provide material support or participate in any way with the implementation of sections 1021 and 1022 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, as amended, (Public Law 112-81, 125 Stat. 1298) within the boundaries of this Commonwealth.
SB999 sets criminal penalties for state employees – including law enforcement personnel – who aid or abet federal agents or agencies attempting to arrest or detain citizens pursuant to the NDAA within the Commonwealth. Pennsylvania now joins 18 other states with pending or enacted legislation that interposes sovereign state authority between their citizens and the growing authoritarianism of central government.
“I believe the indefinite detention of American citizens without providing them due process of law is unconstitutional and illegal, including under the NDAA. This is why I introduced legislation to prohibit state, county, and local agencies from complying with NDAA: to protect Pennsylvanians’ due process rights,” Folmer said, affirming his duty to uphold the Constitution against its unchecked transgression by the federal government.
Think it can’t happen here? It already has.
Lois Kaneshiki, Chair of the Pennsylvania Republican Liberty Caucus, noted that in 1942, the U.S. military issued an order which began the forced evacuation of 100,000 Japanese-American citizens for no other reason than they were of Japanese descent.
“My parents-in-law were in those camps,” said Kaneshiki. “These are people who didn’t want to learn or speak Japanese at home as children with their Japanese-speaking parents because they wanted to be viewed as Americans first.”
“These sections violate at least eleven of our Constitutional due process rights,” stated RLC NDAA Project Leader, former candidate for the Republican nomination to the U.S. Senate and Harrisburg attorney Marc Scaringi. “By passing the Liberty Preservation Act, Pennsylvania will take a strong stand against these illegal and unconstitutional indefinite detentions and a much needed step down the long path to restoring the Constitutional rights of the American people.”
1. Contact your State Senators. Ask him or her to add their name as a co-sponsor for this vitally important, non-partisan bill.
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 Senate member or his staff. If you live in the area, visit him in person. Emails tend to get lost and hold very little impact. You can find Senate contact information HERE.
2. Pennsylvania political group leaders, send an official letter in support. 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 SB999. 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 SB999, and explain why if you’d like to add additional comments.
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. 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 presents a great way to strengthen a statewide campaign against NDAA indefinite detention
Model legislation here:
5. Join the NDAA activist group on Facebook. Connect with others, plan strategy, build a coalition, and help get SB999 passed!
Note: while some, including U.S. Pat Toomey, believe that the 2013 NDAA eliminated indefinite detention, it does not. 2012 indefinite detention provisions remain intact – 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, Pennsylvania stands on strong ground to reject a federal power which has already been struck down in federal court and is still pending appeal.
The Pennsylvania Senate should pass SB999 with full confidence.