A bill under consideration in Wyoming would nullify federal attempts to use indefinite detention, targeted assassinations, or other features of war in the state.

The federal government, under the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2012, the Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) of 2001, and other federal acts claims the power to override most limitations in the Bill of Rights by declaring the entire country a battlefield and applying the laws of war instead of the constitution.

Wyoming House bill 91 (HB91) takes these unconstitutional federal powers on, head on. Authored by Rep. Kendall Kroeker (R-Evansville), the bill states, in part:

It is unlawful for any person to:

(i) Arrest or capture any person in Wyoming, or citizen of Wyoming, “under the law of war”;
(ii) Actually subject a person in Wyoming to “disposition under the law of war”; or
(iii) Use deadly force “under the laws of war” against any person in Wyoming, or intentionally subject any citizen of Wyoming for targeted killing or murder.

“The Constitution of the United States has the Bill of Rights for a reason,” Rep. Kroeker told PANDA Unite when he introduced the bill previously. “I take an oath to support, obey, and defend the Constitution and I take that seriously. When the federal government passes legislation that violates the constitution, it is our duty as a state to make sure we protect the rights of our citizens.”

That legislation was blocked by House leadership and wasn’t allowed for debate or vote on the House floor, but with nine co-sponsors this time around, the bill has a better chance to move forward with strong grassroots support.

“Kroeker is taking on one of the fundamental tenets of unconstitutional federal power,” said Mike Maharrey of the Tenth Amendment Center. “By using war and fear of war, they’ve convinced people to turn a blind eye to expansions of power that are now frightening. The ability to snatch someone off the street and lock them up forever without a trial, or kill them with a drone is real, even if they’re not doing it just yet.”

HB91 addresses this by declaring, “It is the determination of the state of Wyoming that Wyoming is not a “battlefield” subject to the “laws of war,” and that neither congress nor the President can constitutionally apply the ‘laws of war'” to the general public in Wyoming.

Advocates recognize that it will be difficult to get the bill passed, but Kroeker remained hopeful in the face of what he considered an “uphill battle.”  Inside sources suggest that Republican leadership is opposed to the bill, but strong grassroots pressure could bring HB91 to the tipping point.


In Wyoming, to support this bill, follow all the action steps at THIS LINK

All Other states, push back against indefinite detention powers at this link.

Michael Boldin

The 10th Amendment

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