Virginia Action Alert: Step 2 to Nullify “Indefinite Detention”

Virginia led the way to stop indefinite detention when Gov. Bob McDonnell  signed House Bill 1160 into law in April 2012. The law prohibits state or local cooperation with any federal attempts to indefinitely detain an American citizen pursuant to the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012.

However, that’s not the end game. Now we need local government bodies to pass ordinances in support of the state law, specifically prohibiting local cooperation with indefinite detention. City and county governments can even take things a step further, extending protection to all persons within their jurisdictions and broadening noncompliance to include indefinite detention under other “authority” outside the NDAA.

Local nullification efforts provide another row of teeth to the state law, signal local support to Richmond lawmakers and can serve as a catalyst for stronger, broader state action in the next legislative session. They also add additional impediments should federal agents try to kidnap people within the borders of Virginia.

It’s going to take work to ensure that this is how things play out.  Here’s what you can start doing right now. 

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Tsarnaev not guilty of federal charges?

by Jon Roland, Constitution Society

The Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been charged with multiple federal offenses, but none of them are authorized by the U.S. Constitution for offenses committed on state territory, as the acts in Boston were. If the federal courts were constitutionally compliant, they would be compelled to dismiss them all, and let the State of Massachusetts prosecute him under its laws.

The following is a summary of the main federal charges:

  1. Use of a weapon of mass destruction resulting in death and conspiracy.
  2. Bombing of a place of public use resulting in death and conspiracy.
  3. Malicious destruction of property resulting in death and conspiracy.
  4. Use of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.
  5. Use of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence causing death.
  6. Carjacking resulting in serious bodily injury.
  7. Interference with commerce by threats or violence.
  8. Aiding and abetting.

Contrast this with the following, taken from the second of the unanimous Kentucky Resolutions of 1798, written by Thomas Jefferson, summarizing original understanding of the U.S. Constitution:

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Dyer Co. Tennessee Adopts Second Amendment Preservation Resolution

DYERSBURG, Tenn. – Dyer County commissioners unanimously approved a resolution supporting the Second Amendment during its Monday night meeting.

County Commissioner Dr. Brandon Dodds introduced the Second Amendment Protection resolution, and the Local Government Committee adopted it last month. The resolution calls upon the Tennessee legislature, judiciary and executive branches to “adopt and enact any and all measures necessary to reject and nullify the enforcement of any federal laws, acts, orders, rules or regulations in violation of the Constitution of the United States.” (Full text below)

“I believe it is one of the most important amendments,” Dodds told the State Gazette. “I believe it is not only illegal but unenforceable whenever the federal government passes a law limiting the Second Amendment.”

Local Government Committee chair Commissioner David Agee introduced the resolution to the full commission, noting that several counties had already passed similar resolutions. The Tennessee Sheriff’s Association and Dyer County Sheriff Jeff Box have both voiced support for these type of resolutions.

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Founders Turning in Their Graves

“A republic, madam, if you can keep it.”

So said the ever-quotable Benjamin Franklin upon emerging from the Constitutional Convention debates in 1787.  Franklin’s now-famous statement to an inquisitive Philadelphian causes us today to pause and reflect.  Have we kept the republic that Franklin and his contemporaries bequeathed us?

A recent poll answers this query with an emphatic “No!”.  According to a Gallup survey, 71% of Americans believe that the Founders would be disappointed in the United States today.  This comes on the heels of another Gallup survey showing that Congress’s approval rating has hit its lowest mark ever at 10%.  President Obama doesn’t fare much better, garnering only 36% approval.

Are Americans beginning to realize that the government they have bears no resemblance to the one designed by the framers of the Constitution?  If the 71% are correct in saying that the Founders would be embarrassed by America today, the next logical question we should ask is “Why?”.

Could it be because we’ve completely abandoned the structure of government that they fought the British for and then jealously guarded while debating the Constitution?  Maybe we can find the answer in what some founders said about how American liberty would be preserved.

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