The Hawaii legislature joined the growing transpartisan chorus demanding repeal of the indefinite detention provisions written into the National Defense Authorization Act last month.

The Hawaii House and Senate passed HCR115, urging the United States congress to repeal the mandatory military detention and indefinite detention provisions of the national defense authorization act for fiscal year 2012 and amend the authorization for use of force.

The resolution goes beyond simply addressing NDAA detention provisions, calling on Congress and the president to return to a constitutional exercise of war powers.

HCR115 proposes four amendments to the NDAA:

(1)  Prevent the armed forces of the United States from investigating, arresting, detaining, or trying any person within the United States;

(2)  Prevent the armed forces from militarily detaining, without charge or trial, any civilian captured off of any battlefield;

(3)  Recognize that Congress retains the authority to declare war and authorize the use of military force, consistent with Article I of the United States Constitution; and

(4)  Recognize that the President retains the authority under Article II of the United States Constitution to deploy the United States military to repel a sudden attack on the United States, its territories or possessions, or its military.

The resolution also calls for the current Authorization to Use Military force to end at the conclusion of combat operations in Afghanistan. Congress passed the AUMF just after 9-11 and authorized the president to use “all necessary and appropriate force against the nations, organizations, or persons the President determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.” President Bush and Obama have since stretched it to encompass a more general “War on Terror.”

Hawaii joins Arizona, Utah and Maine in condemning detention without due process provisions written into the NDAA.

Last week, the U.S. House failed to pass an amendment offered by Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) and Justin Amash (R-Mich.) that would have repealed detention provisions on U.S. soil. Instead, the House added an amendment, written in Orwellian doublespeak, that promises not to violate the constitutional rights of those who possess them. The new amendment once again leaves it to the president to define vague language and does nothing to actually protect basic civil liberties. The House’s failure to emphatically remove detention provisions makes it clear that it will fall upon the state to protect their citizens from the possibility of federal kidnapping.

Hopefully, the resolution recently passed in Hawaii will lead to further action in their next session, including passing legislation forbidding state cooperation with federal attempts to detain any persons in the Aloha State without constitutionally protected due process.

To track liberty preservation legislation across the U.S., click HERE.

Mike Maharrey

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