In Who Voted Against the Constitution, we saw which of Pennsylvania’s Washington contingent voted for the unconstitutional provisions in the Patriot Act.

This post updates that information with another column to record how our legislators feel about the indefinite detention provisions in HR1540, the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012. The next-to-last column is the legislator’s vote for or against the Patriot Act, and the last column is the legislator’s vote for or against the 2012 NDAA.

Entries in red voted in favor of both acts. Entries in orange voted in favor of one, and entries in green voted against both.

House of Representatives

PA 1 Rep. Robert Brady Democratic N Y
PA 2 Rep. Chaka Fattah Sr. Democratic N N
PA 3 Rep. Mike Kelly Republican Y Y
PA 4 Rep. Jason Altmire Democratic Y Y
PA 5 Rep. Glenn Thompson Jr. Republican Y Y
PA 6 Rep. Jim Gerlach Republican Y Y
PA 7 Rep. Patrick Meehan Republican Y Y
PA 8 Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick Republican N Y
PA 9 Rep. Bill Shuster Republican Y Y
PA 10 Rep. Thomas Marino Republican Y Y
PA 11 Rep. Louis Barletta Republican Y Y
PA 12 Rep. Mark Critz Democratic Y Y
PA 13 Rep. Allyson Schwartz Democratic Y Y
PA 14 Rep. Michael Doyle Jr. Democratic N N
PA 15 Rep. Charles Dent Republican Y Y
PA 16 Rep. Joseph Pitts Republican Y –
PA 17 Rep. Tim Holden Democratic Y Y
PA 18 Rep. Timothy Murphy Republican Y Y
PA 19 Rep. Todd Platts Republican Y Y


PA Jr Sen. Patrick Toomey Republican Y Y
PA Sr Sen. Robert Casey Jr. Democratic Y Y

As a reminder, each of these people was sworn-in to office with this oath:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.

And the Constitution which they are sworn to support and defend contains the following amendments:

Amendment 4

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Amendment 5

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Amendment 6

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

On the other hand, the NDAA for 2012 “…affirms that the authority of the President to use all necessary and appropriate force…

(a) may include …

(1) Detention under the law of war without trial until the end of the hostilities…”

Based merely upon the President’s unverifiable assertion that the detained person is covered by the provision. When given the opportunity to really strike at the heart of our liberties, it seems to me that Pennsylvania’s federal legislators are quite adept at reaching a bipartisan consensus.

Steve Palmer

The 10th Amendment

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