cross-posted from the Tennessee Tenth Amendment Center

The National Defense Authorization Act is one of the greatest abominations of our time.  It is time to call our state government to action to defend the liberties of Tennesseans and nullify this unconstitutional monstrosity.  The Tenth Amendment Center has a draft of model legislation to nullify the NDAA coming out in a few days.  We need to begin petitioning our legislature and governor for action immediately.

Please begin contacting your state legislators and the governor NOW, either by using the letter below or by drafting your own.  For contact information for your state legislator, visit and enter your address.  Governor Haslam’s contact information is:

Governor Bill Haslam
1st Floor, State Capitol
Nashville,  TN   37243
(615) 741-2001


Dear __________:

The NDAA is the single biggest evisceration of our Bill of Rights in our lifetime.  Never before have the definitions of terrorist and terrorist supporter been defined so broadly and vague; never before have we codified into law a president’s nonexistent authority to arrest and detain American citizens on American soil.  The arrest and detention provisions of NDAA have been condemned as the most egregious assault on our fundamental legal rights of protection under the Bill of Rights in history.

We agree with Michigan representative Justin Amash who says:

“Our Constitution does not permit the federal government to detain American citizens indefinitely without charge or trial.  I strongly believe in protecting the country’s security and equipping our Armed Forces with the tools they need to defeat our enemies.  But the American people cannot support measures that, in the name of security, violate our constitutional rights.”

As our elected legislators, your duty to protect Tennessee’s citizens is clear.  James Madison was quite specific when he wrote of your responsibility in such a situation:

“That this Assembly doth explicitly and peremptorily declare, that it views the powers of the federal government, as resulting from the compact, to which the states are parties; as limited by the plain sense and intention of the instrument constituting the compact; as no further valid that they are authorized by the grants enumerated in that compact; and that in case of a deliberate, palpable, and dangerous exercise of other powers, not granted by the said compact, the states who are parties thereto, have the right, and are in duty bound, to interpose for arresting the progress of the evil, and for maintaining within their respective limits, the authorities, rights and liberties appertaining to them.”

In the interest of preserving the Bill of Rights, and checking the runaway abuse of the general government, the creation and agent of the several states, we are urging you to arrest the progress of the evil that endangers all Tennesseans under the National Defense Authorization Act arrest and detention provisions.  We request at the start of this legislative session you do the following:

1. Issue a joint, formal and official statement condemning this act of Congress and its subsequent signing by President Barack Obama.

2. Author and pass a bill of nullification rendering the arrest and detention provisions of NDAA unauthoritative, void and of no force inside the State of Tennessee.  Send this bill to the Governor for his immediate signature upon passage.

3. Advise Tennessee’s Sheriffs as the Chief Law Enforcement Officers in their Counties to meet any attempts to implement these provisions in their counties with the appropriate force to prevent such implementation.

4. Issue an advisory letter to President Obama, Congress and the Secretary of Defense that the arrest and detention provisions of NDAA are unconstitutional and as such are no law at all.  As such they are unrecognized and unenforceable in the State of Tennessee.

5. Issue a letter of official dissatisfaction to both Tennessee US Senators Lamar Alexander who voted AYE for this act and to all members of Tennessee’s delegation to the House of Representatives who voted AYE for this act (Reps. Black, Blackburn, Cooper and Fleischmann).

6. Call a press conference to announce your actions in the defense of Tennessee’s citizens.

These perilous times in our history require a stand for freedom.  The very existence of our rights is being jeopardized by the same government whose premier responsibility is to protect our rights.   Your actions in this regard for the cause of LIBERTY will assure you all a longstanding career in Tennessee politics and a place in the hearts of LIBERTY defenders across our home country of Tennessee.  These are the times that separate the champions of LIBERTY from the political careerist.  We ardently hope that you and your colleagues can be counted by us to be champions at this critical time in our history.

In Liberty,

Lesley Swann

The 10th Amendment

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