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.
1. Contact your local legislators – County, City, Town - and urge them to introduce model legislation in support of the Liberty Preservation Act.
local ordinance here: http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/legislation/liberty-preservation-act/
2. Become a local leader. If you’re dedicated to stopping federally sanctioned kidnapping, we’ll provide you with the tools you need to not only act on your own, but to organize and lead others to help support these efforts.
contact us here and let us know – http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/volunteer
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. Encourage them to email this information to their members and supporters.
ADDITIONAL READING AND RESOURCES
Local governments won’t act without citizen input and grassroots pressure. The good news is a few dedicated individuals can make a difference at the local level.
That’s where you can step up to the plate.
Talk with your local representatives, local law enforcement, and even National Guard members. These local coalitions can stop the NDAA through education, activism, and vigilance. Then nullify locally to stop the NDAA. Encourage your city, town, municipality and county to pass resolutions and ordinances refusing to aid, enforce, or give resources to the military, DHS, or any other federal agency attempting detention under the NDAA.
The most important thing you can do right now: act locally. On a local level, you have a far greater chance of finding an elected politician who will listen to you and work to pass this legislation.
No, that doesn’t mean will be “easy” – because standing up for liberty never is. But you will have a far greater chance of success. More than two-dozen local communities around the country have taken steps to reject or resist NDAA indefinite detention.
When enough communities say no to unconstitutional federal acts, it will not only render them “nearly impossible to enforce”as Judge Napolitano has said, and it will also provide pressure needed to ensure that the state legislature does the right thing the next time around.
While some believe that the 2013 NDAA eliminated indefinite detention, it did not. Dianne Feinstein introduced a very weak amendment to 2013 – and it failed anyway. 2012 indefinite detention provisions remain intact – and the Obama administration is aggressively defending them in court today.
Last year, Federal Judge Katherine Forrest struck down these indefinite detention powers as unconstitutional and issued a temporary court order blocking their use. That order was revoked by an appeals court and indefinite detention powers remain while the case is currently on appeal but not decided.
Additionally, when Judge Forrest asked Obama administration attorneys if the federal government was using indefinite detention in violation of her temporary order blocking it, they refused to confirm, leaving the door open for potential use of these powers in secret, even in outright defiance of an order from the federal courts.
Because of all this, and more, your local community stands on strong ground to reject federal power already struck down in federal court and still pending appeal. Local governments nationwide should pass the Liberty Preservation Ordinance with full confidence.
Some opponents of these efforts claim that the U.S. Constitution’s “supremacy clause” prevents your local community from taking action. But this is a complete misunderstanding, not only of the supremacy clause, but of the local legislation as well. There is absolutely ZERO serious dispute about the fact that the federal government cannot “commandeer” the states (or their political subdivisions, local governments) 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 case, the Supreme Court made it quite clear that, in their opinion, the federal government cannot require the states to act, or even coerce them to act through a threat to cut funding. Their opinion is correct. If the feds pass a law, they can sure try to enforce it if they want. But the states, and your local communities, absolutely do not have to help them in any way.
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