A new bill in Idaho prohibits the unlawful detention and disposition of Idaho citizens.

The bill, SB1349, “Restoring Constitutional Governance Act of Idaho,” would make it a criminal offense to interfere with such rights. The bill’s purpose states the following:

“This bill prohibits the detention and disposal of Idaho citizens and states that the President of the United States nor Congress can constitutionally apply the law of war to any person in Idaho or the citizens of Idaho who are not serving in the military. It allows the application of the uniform code of military justice if a person is serving in the military.”

This bill would ban the state of Idaho from enforcing sections 1021 and 1022 of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act. These sections purport to give authority to the federal government to indefinitely detain anyone, anywhere – without charge or trial. This bill also covers indefinite detention without due process authorized under “any similar law or authority enacted or claimed by Congress or the President.”

If the bill passes, it would prohibit the federal government from taking the following actions:

1)      To place under arrest or capture of persons in Idaho

2)      Subjecting any individual in Idaho to disposition under the law of war

3)      Using deadly force under the laws of war against any person in Idaho

The bill is currently in the State Affairs Committee, where it will be debated. If the bill passes, Idaho could join Alaska, California, Michigan, and Virginia, which have passed similar laws in the last two years.

All of these states are following James Madison’s blueprint for stopping federal overreach. In The Federalist #46, he argued that a “refusal to comply with officers of the Union” along with other actions at the state and local level would create a situation where the federal government would have an almost impossible time enforcing their acts.   When several states join together and do the same, Madison said it would “present obstructions which the federal government would hardly be willing to encounter.”

Arizona recently introduced a similar bill in its own legislature. These types of obstructions are becoming less objectionable and more prevalent throughout the states. If this bill becomes law, Idaho would stand firm with the principles of liberty and the Constitution over the interests of power consolidation in the federal government.

Dave Benner

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